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CANINE DISTEMPER 

ITS COMPLICATIONS, SEQUEL.^ 
AND TREATMENT 



HAMKUrON 1CIRK 



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Cornell University Library 
SF 991.K59 



Canine distemper, its complications, sequ 




3 1924 000 943 617 



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Library Bureau Cat. No. 1137 




The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924000943617 



CANINE DISTEMPER 




Characteristic Attitude of a Sick Dog 



Frontispiece 



CANINE DISTEMPER 

ITS COMPLICATIONS, SEQUELS, 
AND TREATMENT 



BY 



HAMILTON KIRK 

MEMBER OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF VETERINARY SURGEONS 
FELLOW OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE 
CAPTAIN, ROYAL ARMY VETERINARY CORPS (T.F.) 




s 

LONDON 

BAILLIERE, TINDALL AND COX 

8, HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN 

1922 

lAH rights reserved] 

I 



J'€^to-C.^^^ (AJ/Ca.1,. 



No.GM--^G 






SF 



TO 

FREDERICK T. G. HOBDAY, 

C.M.G., F.R.C.V.S., F.R.S.E., 

AS A SLIGHT TOKEN OF ESTEEM AND APPRECIATION OF HIS 

. VALUABLE LITERARY CONTRIBUTIONS TO VETERINARY 

SCIENCE, AND IN SINCERE GRATITUDE FOR HIS 

UNCEASING EFFORTS TO ENHANCE THE 

INTERESTS OF THE VETERINARY 

PROFESSION, 

THIS WORK IS DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR 



PREFACE 

In presenting to the public this, the only work dealing 
exclusively with canine distemper, its complications and 
sequelae, I must at the outset express regret at my 
inability to further elucidate the mysteries — chiefly per- 
taining to etiology — which continue to exercise our minds 
and demand untiring investigations. This question of 
etiology has baffled the highest authorities since the 
disease was first recognised, and whilst it has unhappily 
not fallen to my humble lot to solve the problem, I have 
had to be content to review the malady generally and 
recapitulate the carefully collected theories and clinical 
facts devolved from the observations and investigations 
of eminent veterinary and other authorities during the 
last seventy years. 

,1 venture to hope that this work will fulfil a distinct 
and apparently long felt want ; inasmuch as, formerly, 
those desiring detailed information upon any phase of 
the. disease were obliged to search endless papers, works, 
and proceedings of societies, before any tangible and 
collective facts could be elicited. 

I have endeavoured to present in readable form every 
detail concerning the spread of distemper, how it might 
be avoided, its symptoms, treatment, and sequelae, not 
omitting the latest ascertainable bacteriological findings 
, relative to its etiology and preventive inoculation, that 
the whole may prove of service as a book of reference for 
the practitioner and student. 

Distemper has probably not received the attention it 
would have done had the disease been communicable to 
man, or the cause of a very heavy annual pecuniary loss 



X PREFACE 

to the country. Although the dog may be considered of 
minor importance in our economic life, yet he is very 
dear to us, and there is probably none but wishes his 
welfare and immunity to suffering. 

If in any measure I shall have contributed to this end 
by placing within the confines of one volume such know- 
ledge as exists to date in reach of the dog-loving popula- 
tion, I shall feel amply rewarded for my efforts. In any 
case I trust I have discredited some of the popular 
fallacies relating to distemper in dogs, and that the 
reader, no less than his canine friend, will profit by 
what is written. 

My grateful thanks are due to Professor Hobday, Dr. 
Ferry, and Dr. Copeman for the generous way in which 
they placed at my disposal drawings, literature, and the 
fruits of their ripe experience, and particularly, in the 
case of the first-named gentleman, for kindly undertaking 
the onerous task of reading through the proofs. I 
am also indebted to Messrs. Parke, Davis and Co., who 
have kindly given me access to much literature dealing 
with the malady ; to Messrs. Muller and Glass for the 
permission accorded me for the use of several of the 
illustrations herein depicted, and to Messrs. Arnold and 
Sons for those of instruments. The frontispiece has 
been redrawn from a copy supplied by kind permission 
of The Bazaar, Exchange and Mart. 

H. K, 

67, WiGMORE Street, 

London, W. i. 
April, 1922. 



CONTENTS 

CHAI'TBR TAGa 

INTRODUCTORY ---..- i 

I. HISTORICAL ...... I 

11. SUSCEPTIBILITY - - - - . - 9 

III. ETIOLOGY - - - - 14 

IV. BACTERIOLOGICAL NOTES - - - - "29 

V. PREDISPOSING CAUSES - - - - - 4^ 

VI. SOURCES OF INFECTION AND THEIR PRACTICAL AVOIDANCE 45 

VII. PREVENTIVE INOCULATION - - 58 

VIII. SYMPTOMS .... - 82 

IX. COURSE, PROGNOSIS, AND MORTALITY - - ' '33 

X. MORBID ANATOMY - - - - 140 

XI. DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS - - - 150 

XII. TREATMENT AND CONVALESCENCE - - - 1 56 

APPENDIX I. EXTERMINATION OF RATS - - - 214 

„ II. DISINFECTION • - - 215 

BIBLIOGRAPHY - - - - - - 222 

INDEX ------- 223 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



FIG. PAGE 

CHARACTERISTIC ATTITUDE OF A SICK DOG Frontispiece 

1. BACILLUS BRONCHISEPTICUS - - - " ^5 

2. DR. COPEMAN's BACILLUS - - - " ^5 

3. pasteurella canis of ligni^res and PHISALIX - 33 

4. bacilli associated with distemper - - - 37 

5. micrococci associated with distemper - "39 

6. field of percussion and location of heart-beat - 89 

7. leucoma of the left eye - - - - 96 
■8. grey cataract of both eyes- - " " 97 

9. PROLAPSE OF THE RECTUM - - - - io2 

10. PARALYSIS OF THE CORD - - - - II4 

11. PARALYSIS OF THE POSTERIOR EXTREMITIES - - II5 

12. TEMPERATURE CHART OF PROTRACTED FATAL CASE - 12 1 
12a. TEMPERATURE CHART OF BENIGN CASE- - - 122 

13. DOG WITH ASCITES - - - - "125 

14. PASSING THE CATHETER - - - - I30 

15. MALE VESICAL CATHETER - - - - I'^l 

16. FEMALE VESICAL CATHETER - - - "131 

17. URINE OF A DOG WITH CYSTITIS - - ■13^ 

18. COAT FOR CHEST PROTECTION - - - - 160 

19. INHALATION OF STEAM - - - - 161 

20. RECTAL LAVAGE - - - - - 171 

21. SOFT, PLIABLE CATHETER FOR RECTAL USE - - 1 72 
2ia. RUBBER RECTAL TUBE FOR RECTAL LAVAGE - - 172 

22. USEFUL CHART FOR INFIRMARY USE - - - 1 74 

23. METHOD OF GIVING FLUID MEDICINE - - - 1 84 

24. METHOD OF GIVING A PILL - . - . jgj 

25. ASPIRATOR FOR USE IN PARACENTESIS ABDOMINIS - 194 

26. IRRIGATING THE BLADDER - - - _ 205 

27. CLEANING THE INTERIOR OF THE EAR - - 207 



28. CAP FOR PROTECTING THE EARS 



2og 



CANINE DISTEMPER 
ITS COMPLICATIONS AND SEQUELS 

INTRODUCTORY 

French ; Maladie des Chiens. Maladie du jeune age. 
German : Hundestaupe. Hundela-ankheit. 
Spanish : Reuma. Italian : Cimurro. 

^ DEFINITION 

:S-NiNE Distemper is a specific, malignant, contagious 
and infectious catarrhal fever, affecting all mucous 
membranes, but primarily those of the respiratory tract. 
It is chiefly, but not essentially, a disease of young 
animals of the canine and feline race, appearing sporadic- 
ally, enzootically, or epizootically, and frequently fraught 
with very serious complications and sequelae. 

CHAPTER I 
HISTORICAL 

SYNONYMS AND HISTORY 

In consequence of the very diverse character of the 
symptoms often presented during an attack of distemper, 
the malady has been known variously as influenza, 
malignant catarrhal fever, canine plague, broncho-pneu- 
monia, gastro-enteritis, canine typhus, canine small-pox, 
and several other names, all of which, however, have 



2 CANINE DISTEMPER 

gradually fallen into disuse in favour of the universally 
popular term — Canine Distemper. 

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the 
word "distemper" was indiscriminately used to signify 
almost any epidemic of man or epizootic of beast, though 
the meaning of the term, has gradually narrowed down 
to indicate exclusively the specific disease now under 
consideration. Among the various writers, both English 
and foreign, there appears to exist a considerable 
conflict of opinion as to whether distemper originated 
first in this country or was imported into Great Britain 
from the Continent. According to one author, a serious 
epizootic raged in France about 1740, and we learn from 
others that this was followed, about ten years later, by 
an outbreak in Germany, and in 1760 by one in England ; 
it then appeared to sweep northwards into Russia, 
Siberia, Norway, Sweden, and Greenland, assuming in 
the last-named country a most virulent form upon its 
first appearance in 1859. 

In the works of some of the ancient observers and 
authors, we may find vague allusions to outbreaks of 
epizootic diseases among dogs in various parts of the 
world as far back as the year a.d. 1028; but whether in 
the absence of any detailed description of the symptoms 
we could safely ascribe the outbreaks as due to distemper 
is very doubtful. On consulting Fleming's " History of 
Animal Plagues," the following interesting facts are 
elicited : 

A.D. 

" 1028. In the present year an invasion of cicadse and 
caterpillars in Bohemia following a very plentiful 
harvest. Innumerable swarms of butterflies ap- 
peared, so that everything green in garden and 
field or in woods was devoured. Dense and foul- 
smelling vapours had preceded this visitation, rising, 
as they did, about Easter. After these insects had 



HISTORICAL 3 

A.D. 

eaten everything up, they themselves increased the 
stench ; the trees also, stripped of their leaves, died 
and rotted. As a consequence, there was a great 
mortality amongst men and animals, but especially 
in dogs in the autumn. England and Gaul, and, 
indeed, the whole of Europe, suffered in the same 
way and from the same causes. 

" 1414. According to Saxo Grammaticus, a severe form 
of dysentery ravaged Germany, affecting horses, 
cattle, dogs, and cats, as well as man. 

" 1603. Very inclement season in London, and pestilence 
among mankind which was supposed to have been 
introduced from the Low Countries. A famine pre- 
vailed, and extensive disease among all animals, but 
particularly cattle. Even dogs suffered greatly. 

"1690. Italy. 'On March 13, I observed an epidemic 
among dogs at Anda of an anginous character. 
After a very misty night, domestic and sporting 
dogs, besides three othersj all perished in the town, 
of which, out of curiosity, I took twenty-one for 
examination, and I found their necks swollen ex- 
ternally and their fauces internally, while the muscles 
of their throats were much inflamed. Wirth ascribes 
the losses among animals in Italy to anthrax.' 

" 1714. In March of this year, canine distemper raged in 
all the southern provinces qi France as an epizoOty 
complicated with gangrenous angina. 

" 1715. In Germany and France an epizoOty of gastro- 
bronchitis raged amongst dogs. 

" 1735. Alloa, who was a refsident in South America until 
1746, is the first author who has told us of the 
existence of, and describes the distemper of, dogs of 
that country. 

" 1761. In this year there began a great epizooty amongst 
dogs, which appears to have been what is since 
vulgarly termed 'distemper.' Before this period it 
appears to have been very rare or almost unknown, 
and since its outbreak at that time, it has lingered 
among the canine species to this day. It seems to 
have been first noted in Spain. This year there 
was observed at Madrid a deadly epizoOty among 



2 CANINE DISTEMPER 

gradually fallen into disuse in favour of the universally 
popular term — Canine Distemper. 

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the 
viTord "distemper" was indiscriminately used to signify 
almost any epidemic of man or epizootic of beast, though 
the meaning of the term, has gradually narrowed down 
to indicate exclusively the specific disease now under 
consideration. Among the various writers, both English 
and foreign, there appears to exist a considerable 
conflict of opinion as to whether distemper originated 
first in this country or was imported into Great Britain 
from the Continent. According to one author, a serious 
epizootic raged in France about 1740, and we learn from 
others that this was followed, about ten years later, by 
an outbreak in Germany, and in 1760 by one in England ; 
it then appeared to sweep northwards into Russia, 
Siberia, Norway, Sweden, and Greenland, assuming in 
the last-named country a most virulent form upon its 
first appearance in 1859. 

In the works of some of the ancient observers and 
authors, we may find vague allusions to outbreaks of 
epizootic diseases among dogs in various parts of the 
world as far back as the year a.d. 1028; but whether in 
the absence of any detailed description of the symptoms 
we could safely ascribe the outbreaks as due to distemper 
is very doubtful. On consulting Fleming's " History of 
Animal Plagues," the following interesting facts are 
elicited : 

A.D. 

" 1028. In the present year an invasion of cicadae and 
caterpillars in Bohemia following a very plentiful 
harvest. Innumerable swarms of butterflies ap- 
peared, so that everything green in garden and 
field or in woods was devoured. Dense and foul- 
smelling vapours had preceded this visitation, rising, 
as they did, about Easter. After these insects had 



HISTORICAL 8 

A.D. 

eaten everything up, they themselves increased the 
stench ; the trees also, stripped of their leaves, died 
and rotted. As a consequence, there was a great 
mortality amongst men and animals, but especially 
in dogs in the autumn. England and Gaul, and, 
indeed, the whole of Europe, suffered in the same 
way and from the same causes. 

" 1414. According to Saxo Grammaticus, a severe form 
of dysentery ravaged Germany, affecting horses, 
cattle, dogs, and cats, as well as man. 

" 1603. Very inclement season in London, and pestilence 
among mankind which was supposed to have been 
introduced from the Low Countries. A famine pre- 
vailed, and extensive disease among all animals, but 
particularly cattle. Even dogs suffered greatly. 

"1690. Italy. 'On March 13, I observed an epidemic 
among dogs at Anda of an anginous character. 
After a very misty night, domestic and sporting 
dogs, besides three othersj all perished in the town, 
of which, out of curiosity, I took twenty-one for 
examination, and I found their necks swollen ex- 
ternally and their fauces internally, while the muscles 
of their throats were much inflamed. Wirth ascribes 
the losses among animals in Italy to anthrax.' 

" 1 7 14. In March of this year, canine distemper raged in 
all the southern provinces of France as an epizooty 
complicated with gangrenous angina. 

" 1715. In Germany and France an epizoOty of gastro- 
bronchitis raged amongst dogs. 

" 1735. Alloa, who was a resident in South America until 
1746, is the first author who has told us of the 
existence of, and describes the distemper of, dogs of 
that country. 

" 1761. In this year there began a great epizoSty amongst 
dogs, which appears to have been what is since 
vulgarly termed 'distemper.' Before this period it 
appears to have been very rare or almost unknown, 
and since its outbreak at that time, it has lingered 
among the canine species to this day. It seems to 
have been first noted in Spain. This year there 
was observed at Madrid a deadly epizoOty among 



2 CANINE DISTEMPER 

gradually fallen into disuse in favour of the universally 
popular term — Canine Distemper. 

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the 
word "distemper" was indiscriminately used to signify 
almost any epidemic of man or epizootic of beast, though 
the meaning of the term, has gradually narrowed down 
to indicate exclusively the specific disease now under 
consideration. Among the various writers, both English 
and foreign, there appears to exist a considerable 
conflict of opinion as to whether distemper originated 
first in this country or was imported into Great Britain 
from the Continent. According to one author, a serious 
epizootic raged in France about 1740, and we learn from 
others that this was followed, about ten years later, by 
an outbreak in Germany, and in 1 760 by one in England ; 
it then appeared to sweep northwards into Russia, 
Siberia, Norway, Sweden, and Greenland, assuming in 
the last-named country a most virulent form upon its 
first appearance in 1859. 

In the works of some of the ancient observers and 
authors, we may find vague allusions to outbreaks of 
epizootic diseases among dogs in various parts of the 
world as far back as the year a.d. 1028; but whether in 
the absence of any detailed description of the symptoms 
we could safely ascribe the outbreaks as due to distemper 
is very doubtful. On consulting Fleming's " History of 
Animal Plagues," the following interesting facts are 
elicited : 

A.D. 

" 1028. In the present year an invasion of cicadse and 
caterpillars in Bohemia following a very plentiful 
harvest. Innumerable swarms of butterflies ap- 
peared, so that everything green in garden and 
field or in woods was devoured. Dense and foul- 
smelling vapours had preceded this visitation, rising, 
as they did, about Easter. After these insects had 



HISTORICAL 3 

A.D. 

eaten everything up, they themselves increased the 
stench ; the trees also, stripped of their leaves, died 
and rotted. As a consequence, there was a great 
mortality amongst men and animals, but especially 
in dogs in the autumn. England and Gaul, and, 
indeed, the whole of Europe, suffered in the same 
way and from the same causes. 

" 1414. According to Saxo Graramaticus, a severe form 
of dysentery ravaged Germany, affecting horses, 
cattle, dogs, and cats, as well as man. 

" 1603. Very inclement season in London, and pestilence 
among mankind which was supposed to have been 
introduced from the Low Countries. A famine pre- 
vailed, and extensive disease among all animals, but 
particularly cattle. Even dogs suffered greatly. 

"1690. Italy. 'On March 13, I observed an epidemic 
among dogs at Anda of an anginous character. 
After a very misty night, domestic and sporting 
dogs, besides three otherS) all. perished in the town, 
of which, out of curiosity, I took twenty-one for 
examination, and I found their necks swollen ex- 
ternally and their fauces internally, while the muscles 
of their throats were much inflamed. Wirth ascribes 
the losses among animals in Italy to anthrax.' 

" 1 7 14. In March of this year, canine distemper raged in 
all the southern provinces of France as an epizoOty 
complicated with gangrenous angina. 

" 1715. In Germany and France an epizoOty of gastro- 
bronchitis raged amongst dogs. 

" 1735. Alloa, who was a refsident in South America until 
1746, is the first author who has told us of the 
existence of, and describes the distemper of, dogs of 
that country. 

" 1761. In this year there began a great epizoOty amongst 
dogs, which appears to have been what is since 
vulgarly termed 'distemper.' Before this period it 
appears to have been very rare or almost unknown, 
and since its outbreak at that time, it has lingered 
among the canine species to this day. It seems to 
have been first noted in Spain. This year there 
was observed at Madrid a deadly epizooty among 



2 CANINE DISTEMPER 

gradually fallen into disuse in favour of the universally 
popular term — Canine Distemper. 

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the 
word "distemper" was indiscriminately used to signify 
almost any epidemic of man or epizootic of beast, though 
the meaning of the term, has gradually narrowed down 
to indicate exclusively the specific disease now under 
consideration. Among the various writers, both English 
and foreign, there appears to exist a considerable 
conflict of opinion as to whether distemper originated 
first in this country or was imported into Great Britain 
from the Continent. According to one author, a serious 
epizootic raged in France about 1740, and we learn from 
others that this was followed, about ten years later, by 
an outbreak in Germany, and in 1760 by one in England ; 
it then appeared to sweep northwards into Russia, 
Siberia, Norway, Sweden, and Greenland, assuming in 
the last-named country a most virulent form upon its 
first appearance in 1859. 

In the works of some of the ancient observers and 
authors, we may find vague allusions to outbreaks of 
epizootic diseases among dogs in various parts of the 
world as far back as the year a.d. 1028; but whether in 
the absence of any detailed description of the symptoms 
we could safely ascribe the outbreaks as due to distemper 
is very doubtful. On consulting Fleming's " History of 
Animal Plagues," the following interesting facts are 
elicited : 

A.D. 

" 1028. In the present year an invasion of cicadse and 
caterpillars in Bohemia following a very plentiful 
harvest. Innumerable swarms of butterflies ap- 
peared, so that everything green in garden and 
field or in woods was devoured. Dense and foul- 
smelling vapours had preceded this visitation, rising, 
as they did, about Easter. After these insects had 



HISTORICAL 3 

A.D. 

eaten everything up, they themselves increased the 
stench ; the trees also, stripped of their leaves, died 
and rotted. As a consequence, there was a great 
mortality amongst men and animals, but especially 
in dogs in the autumn. England and Gaul, and, 
indeed, the whole of Europe, suffered in the same 
way and from the same causes. 

" 1414. According to Saxo Grammaticus, a severe form 
of dysentery ravaged Germany, affecting horses, 
cattle, dogs, and cats, as well as man. 

" 1603. Very inclement season in London, and pestilence 
among mankind which was supposed to have been 
introduced from the Low Countries. A famine pre- 
vailed, and extensive disease among all animals, but 
particularly cattle. Even dogs suffered greatly. 

"1690. Italy. 'On March 13, I observed an epidemic 
among dogs at Anda of an anginous character. 
After a very misty night, domestic and sporting 
dogs, besides three othersj all perished in the town, 
of which, out of curiosity, I took twenty-one for 
examination, and I found their necks swollen ex- 
ternally and their fauces internally, while the muscles 
of their throats were much inflamed. Wirth ascribes 
the losses among animals in Italy to anthrax.' 

" 1714. In March of this year, canine distemper raged in 
all the southern provinces of France as an epizoOty 
complicated with gangrenous angina. 

"1715. In Germany and France an epizoOty of gastro- 
bronchitis raged amongst dogs. 

" 1735. Alloa, who was a resident in South America until 
1746, is the first author who has told us of the 
existence of, and describes the distemper of, dogs of 
that country. 

" 1761. In this year there began a great epizooty amongst 
dogs, which appears to have been what is since 
vulgarly termed 'distemper.' Before this period it 
appears to have been very rare or almost unknown, 
and since its outbreak at that time, it has lingered 
among the canine species to this day. It seems to 
have been first noted in Spain. This year there 
was observed at Madrid a deadly epizooty among 



4 CANINE DISTEMPER 

A.D. 

dogs, which spread over the whole kingdom,' but 
without affecting any other species of animals. 

" 1763. According to Webster, 900 dogs had died at 
Madrid alone, and in this year it is supposed that 
the malady had reached England, where many years 
after it was studied by Mr. Darwin and Mr. E. 
Jenner. The latter, writing in 1809, said: 'It may 
be difficult perhaps to ascertain the period of its first 
appearance in Britain. In this and the neighbouring 
counties I have not been able to trace it back much 
beyond the middle of last century.' 

" 1764. It appears to have reached England at a later 
period, as Dr. Rutty notices this plague amongst 
the dogs at Doneraile, co. Cork. The symptoms 
are a great discharge of a gleety humour from eyes 
and nose, a difficulty of breathing, violent beating 
of the heart, also convulsions, and a great weakness 
in the back and hind legs." 

It is comparatively only recently that veterinary 
schools have come into existence, the first one being 
established in France in 1761 ; thus it is fair to assume 
that, prior to that date, little serious attention could 
have been bestowed upon the study of epizootic diseases, 
and scanty knowledge gained as regards their charac- 
teristics. Dr. Jenner also wrote : " My situation in the 
country favouring my wishes to make some observations 
on this singular malady, I availed myself of it during 
several successive years among a large number of fox- 
hounds belonging to the Earl of Berkeley; and from 
observing how frequently it has been confounded with 
hydrophobia, I am induced to lay the result of my 
enquiries before the Medical and Chirurgical Society. . . . 
I knew a gentleman who, about forty-five years ago, 
destroyed the greater part of his hounds, from supposing 
them mad, when the distemper first broke out among 
them, so little was it then known by those most conver- 



HISTORICAL 5 

sant with dogs. On the Continent I find it has been known 
for a much longer period; it is as contagious among 
dogs as the small-pox, measles, or scarlet fever among 
the human species ; and the contagious miasmata, like 
those arising from the diseases just mentioned, retain 
their infectious properties a long time after separation 
from the distempered animal. Young hounds, for 
example, brought in a state of health into a kennel where 
others have gone through the distemper, seldom escape 
it. I have endeavoured to destroy the contagion by 
ordering every part of a kennel to be carefully washed 
with water, then white-washed, and finally to be re- 
peatedly fumigated with the vapour of marine acid, but 
without any good result." 

Analogous Diseases in Human Beings. — To-day, dis- 
temper is ubiquitous the world over, and must be 
regarded as the greatest enemy of the canine race, 
among which it causes a high annual mortality, and the 
loss to dog owners and breeders of many thousands of 
pounds, apart from the sentimental values which are 
inestimable in terms of cash. A great analogy exists 
between distemper and human measles, in that they are 
both infectious, mostly attack the young, and occur 
generally only once in life. In each we also find similar 
symptoms, such as catarrh of all mucous membranes 
(except of the intestines in measles) and skin eruptions, 
whilst they are both subject to bronchitis, pneumonia, 
ophthalmia, and nervous disorders, as complications. 

Gommunicability to Man. — Although this disease has 
been likened to measles, influenza, and small-pox of man, 
it has in reality no connection with any of them, and 
I have heard of no case in practice in which any patho- 
logical condition has been communicated to man from 
animals suffering with distemper. On this question of 
communicability to mankind, Dr. Jenner might be again 



6 CANINE DISTEMPER 

quoted as follows : " Fortunately this distemper is not 
conveyed to man. Neither the effluvia from the diseased 
dog nor the bite have proved in any instance infectious ; 
but as it has often been confounded with canine madness, 
as I have before observed, it is to be wished that it were 
more generally understood ; for those who are bitten by 
a dog in this state are sometimes thrown into such 
perturbation that hydrophobic symptoms have actually 
arisen from the workings of the imagination. A gentle- 
man who received a severe bite from a dog, soon after 
fancied the animal was mad. He felt a horror at the 
sight of liquids, and was actually convulsed on attempt- 
ing to swallow them. So uncontrollable were his pre- 
possessions, that it was conceived he would have died, 
had not the dog which inflicted the wound been found 
and brought into his room in perfect health. This soon 
restored his mind to a state of tranquillity. The sight of 
water no longer afflicted him, and he quickly recovered." 

However, Dr. M'Gowan records several cases in which 
laboratory workers have contracted symptoms of nasal 
catarrh after prolonged handling of animals affected with 
distemper. 

I quote below an extract from M'Gowan's paper upon 
a " Laboratory Epidemic of Distemper," which appeared 
in the Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology, vol. xv. 
(1911): 

" I. Laboratory workers (five in all)— December, 1909.— Symptoms 
were catarrh of nose. Cultures made from their noses ; organism not 
found. 

" 2. Laboratory worker— January, 1910.— Catarrh of nose. Cultures 
made ; organism not found. 

"3. Two laboratory workers— January, 1910. — Catarrh of nose. 
Cultures made ; organism not found. 

"4. Four laboratory workers— June, igio.-Catarrh of nose. Cultures 
made ; organism not found. 

" S. Laboratory worker— June 16, 1910.— Constantly handling rabbits 
ana gumea-pigs (taking rectal temperatures). Since commencing to 



HISTORICAL 7 

work in the laboratory — one and a half years ago — this worker has 
suffered from the worst chronic catarrh of the nose he has ever had. 
It is very intractable, and at times there are acute exacerbations. 
Cultures were made from a mass of muco-pus hanging down over the 
soft palate. At the time the culture was made there was an exacerba- 
tion of the condition. A pure culture of the organism without any 
contamination was obtained." 

From these cases it will be observed that only once 
was the distemper organism recovered from the lesions, 
and even then no pathological symptom worse than 
nasal catarrh was set up by it. 

In the paper quoted above M'Gowan further says : 

"Whether this condition is of common occurrence in man I am 
unable to say. My observations on individuals in the laboratory would 
seem to indicate that it is not. That it exists there is no doubt, and 
there is every opportunity for it to be widespread, considering the 
number who keep dogs and cats. A kennel-man of forty years' experience 
told me, without my asking leading questions, that he had had distemper 
several times." 

Excepting M'Gowan's assertion, I have never before 
heard it suggested that distemper could be transmitted 
to man, and under natural conditions I feel convinced it 
never is. 

Distemper as an Entity or Otherwise. — Many of the old 
writers considered that distemper had no individual 
entity, but it was composed of several affections which 
may exist either concurrently or separately. In the 
tenth, revised, edition (1921) of Borland's "Medical 
Dictionary," we find distemper defined as follows : " A 
name of several infectious diseases of animals ; especially 
a contagious catarrhal disease of pups caused by a 
specific bacillus. Colt distemper is the same as strangles." 

Gray (Wallis Hoare's "System of Veterinary Medi- 
cine ") remarks : " Although there may be several specific 
morbid entities included under the generic term of 
distemper, there are as yet no reliable data to distinguish 
one from the other, and until bacteriological research, in 



8 CANINE DISTEMPER 

conjunction with clinical study, settles beyond any 
dispute the question of the unity or multiplicity of 
affections included in this generic term, the various 
manifestations of it should be accepted as belonging to 
distemper." He is of opinion, as a result of a comparative 
study of the diseases of swine, dogs, and horses, that 
distemper is an analogous disease to swine fever and 
swine plague on the one hand, and to influenza, strangles, 
and contagious pneumonia of equines on the other. 

Schantyr, in 1892, claimed that distemper could, by 
careful bacteriological examination, be divided into three 
separate diseases — namely, (i) true distemper ; (2) ab- 
dominal typhus ; and (3) typhoid. He added, however, 
that clinically and anatomically all three were alike. 

M^gnin advocated division into two affections — namely, 
"strangles" and "distemper"; whilst in 1901 Cadiot 
and Breton described two conditions — the true distemper 
characterised by the presence of an exanthema, and 
an independent infectious broncho-pneumonia. 

Many supposed it to be a true "small-pox," though the 
complete failure of all those who strove to produce 
immunity by vaccination seems to have effectually 
negatived that view. It is, however, not generally 
looked upon in this light to-day, and although the 
symptoms of one case may be distinct from those of 
another, yet there is practically always one combination 
of symptoms common to all — namely, nasal or bronchial 
catarrh, or both ; cough ; and the persistent irritating 
discharge from the eyes. 

Seasonal Predominance. — Distemper may appear at 
any time of the year, especially in cities, where large 
numbers of dogs are constantly intermixing. If any 
period is favoured more than another, it is the warm 
spring and autumn months, and particularly warm wet 
weather alternating with cold. 



CHAPTER II 

SUSCEPTIBILITY 

Animals Susceptible.— The dog is undoubtedly most 
receptive of the infection of distemper, the cat being 
susceptible in a much lesser degree ; and observers have 
stated that foxes, jackals, virolves, hyaenas, and monkeys 
are also liable to attack, though I— in common with most 
other veterinary surgeons — have had no opportunity of 
verifying the latter assertion or recording any cases 
among the wild animals. 

I have nevertheless come in contact, on several occa- 
sions, with sickness among ferrets used for rabbiting — 
the symptoms of which have simulated those of canine 
distemper — and even among the rabbits themselves. It 
may perhaps be assumed that the primary infection in 
these cases has been disseminated by the farm dog 
employed in rabbiting operations. 

Several foreign bacteriologists have stated positively 
that canine distemper may be transmitted experimentally 
from the dog to the cat and vice versa, and Laosson per- 
formed ninety-eight inoculation experiments on dogs and 
cats, which appeared to show (i) that canine and feline 
distemper are identical; (2) that they are reciprocally 
transmitted; (3) that young dogs and cats became 
infected almost without exception; (4) that mature and 
old cats and dogs were less susceptible; (5) that the nasal 
discharge loses its virulence in fourteen days; and 
(6) that the contents of the pustules were ineffective for 
the purposes of the experiment. 

In spite of these experiments, however, it has been my 
experience that a cat will not nahirally contract distemper 

9 



10 CANINE DISTEMPER 

from a dog sick with it. I have always regarded it as 
just as safe to allow a healthy cat freedom to wander in 
the proximity of distempered dogs, as it would be fatal 
to permit a healthy young dog to follow in its footsteps. 
Other British observers appear to concur in this view, 
the contention being that cats are not naturally prone to 
contract the disease from dogs, though they might do so 
under artificial conditions. 

Herbivorous animals, such as the horse, ox, sheep, and 
goat, are immune ; as are also pigs and birds. 

Influence of Age and Breed on Susceptibility.— The 
breed and age of a dog certainly appear to exert an 
influence on its susceptibility to attack, and whilst 
distemper may manifest itself at any |>eriod of a dog's 
life (even as may measles in the human subject), yet 
mature or aged dogs possess a far greater immunity 
than do the younger ones. This, however, may be 
accounted for by the fact that few dogs — if any — ever 
reach middle life without having already fallen a prey 
to the disease, and they have acquired therefrom such a 
degree of immunity that subsequent attacks are averted, 
or at least assume a milder type. Professor Williams, 
in his " Principles and Practice of Veterinary Medicine," 
remarks : " It affects the system only once." But contrary 
to this and the popular view, the protection conferred by 
the original attack is not necessarily of a reliable and 
enduring character, and quite 6 per cent, of those of my 
patients which I have been able to trace have fallen 
victims to a subsequent attack. 

In rare instances, two and even three attacks have been 
observed in the same dog, and death has been known to 
supervene on the second or third illness. In buying a 
dog, the full assurance that it is over distemper is there- 
fore no guarantee whatever that the malady will not 
appear again, and there is an abundant accumulation of 



SUSCEPTIBILITY 11 

evidence in support of this assertion. Nevertheless, it 
is fortunately true that, in the great majority of cases, 
one attack confers an active resistance to future infec- 
tion; thus in purchasing dogs it is certainly wiser to 
give preference to those which have attained the age of 
about twelve months, and which in consequence can be 
assumed to have passed the danger zone. 

Age at which Dogs are attacked.— D'lst&mT^er is most 
commonly met with in puppies from six weeks to nine 
months old, and cases have been observed in pups even 
as young as ten to fourteen days, whilst in rare instances 
very old dogs have become infected. 

It will thus be noted that the disease is most prevalent 
during the process of dentition. 

Many writers declare that certain breeds of dog have a 
marked natural immunity, and even attempt to tabulate 
them according to their degree of resistance; but my 
view is that no breed is exempt, and none can claim 
ascendancy in this respect over another, from the point 
of view of "species." If any difference exists, the real 
reason will be found connected rather with the conditions 
of life and environment inseparable from members of the 
supposed stronger breed. For instance, the shepherd's 
dog is credited with the greatest immunity, followed in 
order by the terrier, hound, spaniel, pointer, pug, and so 
on down the list, until we reach the highly delicate 
pampered pets, such as Pekingese, Pomeranians, King 
Charles, and Japanese spaniels, griffons, etc. ; and it 
cannot be denied that the so-called " hardy "., breeds 
withstand infection and endure its ravages with much 
greater certainty than the delicate breeds, otherwise 
there could be no such distinctions of health drawn 
between the various breeds ; but put the sheep dog and 
his like under the unnatural conditions endured by the 
average pet dog, and he will probably be found to be as 



12 CANINE DISTEMPER 

frail as he was previously robust. Friedberger and 
Frohner throw further light on the question in the 
following passage : " The supposition that certain breeds 
become more frequently affected with distemper than 
others is probably erroneous, the more likely cause of 
this apparent susceptibility being the fact that such 
breeds are more numerous than others. Thus we find in 
Berlin that more than one-third of all dogs suffering from 
distemper are pugs, apparently because this breed is at 
present fashionable, and not because it possesses any 
special predisposition to the disease." There is yet 
another explanation, for Gray tells us that "dogs of 
exotic origin are more liable to become infected than the 
indigenous or hardy breeds." Probably this is due to 
the fact that in the countries of their origin distemper is 
unknown or rarely occurs. The Terra del Fuegian dogs, 
in whose native country the malady is unknown, rarely 
survive an attack. The same may be said of the Arctic 
breeds, such as the Eskimo, Icelandic, and Greenlander. 
Even those exotic breeds, such as the Japanese spaniel, 
samoyede, the chow, and borzoi, bred and reared in 
our country for generations, succumb readily to its 
ravages — the Japanese more than any other. 

Nevertheless, many of our indigenous breeds that 
have been too much in-bred, and too carefully nurtured, 
readily contract the infection under adverse influences, 
and furnish a great death roll. Such are the bloodhound, 
greyhound, foxhound, and the sporting dogs, among 
others too numerous to mention. Notwithstanding 
this, there are several strains of these various breeds, 
more capable of resisting the inroads of the disease than 
others. 

Several years ago Sir Ernest Shackleton imported 
about 200 "Huskies" from Hudson Bay, prior to his 
embarking on one of his voyages of discovery in the 



SUSCEPTIBILITY 13 

Antarctic. These dogs were a large powerful type of 
samoyede, very wild and little used to handling, and 
when they arrived in England it was my duty to uncrate 
and examine them and get them into good health and 
fit condition for their important labours. 

Approximately ii per cent., however, were found to 
be subjects of distemper, and several were so severely 
stricken that they succumbed. Doubtless, had they 
remained in their own country they might never have 
contracted the slightest infection, being inured to the 
type prevailing there. 

Youatt observes that "few dogs imported into this 
country as exotics do well with it"; thus the greater 
number of the northern dogs brought by Captain Parry 
were carried off by distemper within a twelvemonth. 



CHAPTER III 

ETIOLOGY 

Ultravisible Virus Theory.— As a result of some experi- 
ments carried on by Carre in 1905, and confirmed later 
by Ligniferes ("La Maladie des Chiens," Bulletin Soc. 
de Med. Vet., 1905), the former became convinced that 
" the specific virus or essential element of the disease is 
invisible, passes through the very porous meshes of the 
bacterial filter, and is not culturable on various media, 
the latter remaining sterile. The most active virus is 
that found in the limpid, serous, or watery nasal dis- 
charge seen in the early stages of the complaint ; it is 
equally as virulent when obtained from the pericardial 
effusion after the death of an animal from peracute or 
rapid distemper. The filtered and largely diluted dis- 
charge, or one-hundredth of a cubic centimetre of peri- 
cardial serosity — products not containing any stainable 
or culturable microbe — cause, after three or four days, 
a high elevation of temperature, rapidly reaching 105° or 
more, and lachrymation, followed by coryza, and after- 
wards by a somewhat hoarse cough, especially when the 
animal moves about. At the end of eight or ten days, typical 
vesico-pustules appear on the places of their election — 
namely, abdomen and thighs. The lungs become affected ; 
the nasal discharge, at first slight, serous or sero-purulent, 
takes on a purulent character, and continues to flow 
from the nostrils, and the animal dies after a period of 
from one to three weeks." 

The filterable virus or ultramicroscopic theory thus 
became established, and nearly all authorities still agree 
in ascribing as the direct cause of distemper a specific 

14 



ETIOLOGY 15 

ultra-visible virus, the exact nature of which has not yet 
been fully determined. 

That these germ-free fluids will, when inoculated, set 
up a disease corresponding very closely to distemper 
seems undoubted, and it was the realisation of this fact 
which first prompted many bacteriologists to attempt to 
establish a method of conferring an artificial immunity in 
the healthy by experimentally inducing a benign attack. 

Unfortunately they were not very successful. 




Fig. I. — Bacillus Bronchisepticus. 

Isolated by Ferry, and said to be the cause of distemper. 
Magnified 1,000 diameters. 

Bacterial Theory. — Numerous investigators have from 
time to time isolated various micro-organisms which they 
have considered to be the specific cause of distemper, 
but none appear to have been able to convince the 
veterinary medical world that they have- solved the 
problem (see note on Bacteriology). 

Ferry's Bacillus Bronchisepticus. — However, in October, 
1908, after four years of continual experimental work, 



16 CANINE DISTEMPER 

Dr. N. S. Ferry, an American veterinary surgeon, 
isolated the first pure culture of what he contended was 
the causative factor of the disease. To this organism 
Ferry gave the name Bacillus bronchicanis, which name 
he afterwards changed to B. bronchisepticus. 

Two other workers — namely, Dr. M 'Go wan of Edin- 
burgh, and Dr. Torrey of New York — also independently 
isolated the identical organism, but priority must be 
given to Ferry, who first described the bacillus in detail 
in the American Veterinary Review for July, 1910, and 
Journal of Infectious Diseases, June, 191 1, and later in the 
Veterinary Journal, July, 1914. Ferry found that in the 
early stages of canine distemper it was possible in 
almost every case to isolate B. bronchisepticus from the 
smaller bronchi, and frequently from the trachea. At a 
somewhat later stage; of the disease it was found that in 
the larger bronchi and in the trachea it was contaminated 
with pus organisms. 

He declares that Koch's postulates have been fulfilled, 
inasmuch as (i) the micro-organism is present and dis- 
coverable in every case of- the disease ; (2) it can be 
cultivated in a pure culture; (3) inoculation from such 
culture will reproduce the disease in susceptible animals ; 
and (4) it can be recovered from such animals and again 
grown in a pure culture. 

Torrey produced the disease experimentally by blow- 
ing the dried organisms, or infected dust, into the nasal 
passages with powder blowers. The symptoms developed 
included rhinitis and bronchitis, with persistent cough, 
typical bronchopneumonia, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, 
conjunctivitis, and, in three instances, the appearance of 
a typical pustular eruption of the skin. He concludes : 

" The further evidence on which rests the claims that 
the B. bronchisepticus is the etiological factor in canine 
distemper may be summarised as follows : (i) Dogs 



ETIOLOGY 17 

which are immune to natural distemper show no 
symptoms when exposed to experimental infection with 
B. bronchisepticus. (2) Dogs actively immunised to 
Bi bronchisepticus are immune to natural distemper. 
(3) Dogs recovering from attacks of experimental dis- 
temper induced by this bacillus are protected on 
exposure to natural distemper. (4) The B. bronchi- 
sepiictis is the only culturable micro-organism present 
with uniformity and in great numbers in the tissues and 
organs of distemper cases." 

Granting the accuracy of these statements there 
appears to be little else to prove, and the first fruits of 
the discovery were the manufacture of an anti-distemper 
vaccine and serum, which, whilst not perhaps absolutely 
infallible, have nevertheless been testified to by a number 
of veterinary surgeons, dog-breeders, and others, as of 
considerable value (see " Notes on Prophylaxis "). 

The first lesson learned by Ferry when he started his 
investigations was that canine distemper was a disease 
of secondary infections, and as soon as it was proved to 
his own satisfaction that he had isolated the primary 
cause, many questions concerning the symptomatology — 
which had previously vexed him sorely — were easily 
explained. He says : 

" From all textbooks and monographs on the subject, 
I was taught to look to the discharges of the eyes and 
nose for the etiology; that the disease had been pro- 
duced by injecting these discharges, either filtered or 
unfiltered, into healthy dogs. I was struck, however, 
very forcibly by the fact that, contrary to this, all dis- 
tempered dogs in the early stages would show some 
symptoms of an infection of the trachea and bronchi. I 
at once gave up all work on the eyes and nose, and soon 
had isolated what turned out to be the cause. As the 
organism was found in pure culture in practically every 
case in the trachea, and, in several instances, in the 
blood, it would seem as though the disease was primarily 



18 CANINE DISTEMl'ER 

in the respiratory tract, producing often a septicaemia, 
and in all cases a profound toxaemia. Many of the 
animals would die with no symptoms other than those 
of an acute intoxication— namely, a rise in temperature, 
followed by a sudden fall, loss in weight, and severe 
prostration, with death within a few days. The relation- 
ship of the organism to distemper has been shown by 
means of agglutination, complement fixati'on, and other 
specific tests, so that proof as regards the specificity of the 
organism is not lacking. It is also of interest to know 
that this germ will produce a disease similar to distemper 
in other animals, such as the rabbit,- guinea-pig, cat, 
monkey, and ferret, and when this became recognised, 
the name B. bronchicanis was changed to B. bronchi- 
septicus." 

Exotoxin Theory. — If this organism is to be regarded 
as the specific cause of distemper, an explanation may 
be invited as to how the germ-free pericardial serosity 
taken from a distempered dog can, when inoculated into 
a healthy dog, produce identical symptoms. For answer, 
one is led to conclude that the B. bronchisepticus located 
in the trachea and bronchi generates an exotoxin which 
circulates in the blood, and which, if individually em- 
ployed, will set up precisely the same malady as though 
the actual causal organism were also present. In the 
various diseases caused by bacteria, changes frequently 
occur in certain organs which are unassociated with the 
presence of the bacteria ; these are produced by the 
action of bacterial products circulating in the blood. 
Two good examples of pathogenic organisms which 
produce soluble toxins are the B. diphtherice and B. tetani. 
In these and similar cases, when broth cultures are 
rendered germ-free by a bacterial filter, toxic fluids 
are obtained which, on injection into susceptible animals, 
reproduce the highly characteristic symptoms of their 
corresponding diseases. 

Exotoxins may be distinguished from endotoxins, 



ETIOLOGY 19 

among other reasons, by the fact that they commonly 
exert a specific action on particular organs, and even as 
the bacterial toxins of diphtheria and tetanus exert their 
influence on the nervous system, so apparently also does 
that of B. bronchisepticus on the respiratory organs. 
Another almost constant feature is the occurrence of 
a period of incubation between the moment of infection 
of the animal and the appearance of symptoms. In 
contradiction to this exotoxin theory, however, it must 
be recorded that M'Gowan has expressed it as his 
opinion that no exotoxin is elaborated by the B. 
bronchisepticus. 

Filtration Experiments with Bacillus Bronchisepticus. — 
In the year 1915 Ferry, realising that the bacillus in 
question was a very minute organism, determined to 
prove, if possible, its ability to pass through the pores of 
filters used for the demonstration of the presence of 
known filterable organisms; The only difficulty encoun- 
tered was in finding a proper and satisfactory means of 
determining the integrity of the filters. The usual test 
— that of proving their ability to retain micro-organisms 
of ordinary size — was obviously out of the question, as 
the B. bronchisepticus is one of the smallest of known 
organisms. A test known for several years, and well 
described by Bulloch and Craw (1909), was finally 
decided to be the most reliable. This test depends upon 
the measure of the pressure of air as it is allowed to 
pass through the pores of the filter while immersed in 
water. A leakage at any point, or a variation in the 
texture or thickness of the walls, can be detected at 
once, the efficiency of the filter measured to a fraction of 
a pound, and the porosity of various filters compared, 
merely by observing the pressure necessary to produce 
a general flow of air through the pores of the candles 
proper. 



20 CANINE DISTEMPER 

The results of the work proved conclusively— accord- 
ing to all rules as laid down by the several authorities 
on filterable viruses— that the B. bronchisepticus is a 
filterable organism. The work also corroborated the 
results of previous investigators with regard to the fact 
that the less pressure used, the more easily will some 
organisms pass through the filters. Since 1905, when 
Carre claimed that he had produced typical symptoms of 
distemper in susceptible dogs from the filtered discharges 
of diseased dogs, the majority of writers (as already 
stated) have classified the etiology of canine distemper 
as a filterable, invisible, or ultramicroscopic virus, and it 
is so described in many textbooks. 

The work of Ferry, M'Gowan, Torrey, and Wherry 
with the B. bronchisepticus tended to refute the state- 
ments of Carre, especially as their work was carried 
on at the same time and quite independently, thus lend- 
ing great weight to their claims. The work of Carre, 
however, is not entirely disregarded, many still accepting 
his position ; but the results of the filtration experiments 
with the B. bronchisepticus might appear to put an 
entirely new light on the subject, as it could be argued 
that if the B. bronchisepticus is the cause of canine dis- 
temper, then the experiments corroborate the work 
of Carre. If the work of Carre is correct, and if the 
causative agent of distemper is a filterable virus, then 
the experiments point very conclusively to B. bronchi- 
septicus as the cause, and confirm the findings of the 
above-named investigators. 

There is, however, a serious objection to this other- 
wise lucid explanation— namely, that the filtrates of 
Carre were said to contain no discoverable or cultivable 
organism. Thus, granting that Ferry's bacillus could pass 
through the filter, it should still be possible to cultivate 
the organism by inoculating an artificial medium with 



ETIOLOGY 21 

the filtered liquid. It would, nevertheless^ be interest- 
ing to know whether (as Dr. Copeman remarked to 
me) any British bacteriologist has confirmed Carre's 
work. 

In his paper, included in the Transactions of the Tenth 
International Veterinary Congress, London, Carre made 
the statement that he observed seven dogs and was 
unable to find the B. bronchisepticus. He may have 
examined the dogs in the later stages of the disease, 
when the organism in question is overrun with secondary 
invaders, and is not so often found. Ferry's, M'Gowan's, 
and Torrey's conclusions were drawn as the result of 
examining several hundred dogs, to say nothing of all 
the other laboratory animals infected with the bacillus 
worked on during the past thirteen years ; and after 
reading their articles and accounts of the technique 
employed, one cannot but appreciate the extreme pre- 
cautions taken to exclude all outside sources of infection, 
and the important point that their work was carried 
on independently, neither knowing that the other was 
working on the disease. This must mean something to 
one who is open-minded and looking for facts. 

Arguments against Ferry's Organism and Replies 
Thereto. — Several arguments have from time to time 
been advanced against the probability of Ferry's organ- 
ism being the specific cause of distemper: (i) That it is 
a saprophyte normally inhabiting the respiratory tract 
of healthy dogs ; (2) can only be regarded as a secondary 
invader, merely setting. up a br6ncho-pneumonia under 
favourable circumstances; and (3) that it is not respon- 
sible for all the typical symptoms of true distemper. 

Broncho-pneumonia itself is obviously not necessarily 
distemper, and may be regarded only as a secondary 
symptom of that disease, and the inference remains that 
an invisible virus is the primary invader, which, having 



22 CANINE DISTEMPER 

weakened the animal's resistance, thereby opens the 
door to the secondary invaders. Observers have stated 
that the B. bronchisepticus can usually be discovered in 
the respiratory passages of most healthy dogs, though 
I think this argument would not preclude the possibility 
of it being the primary invader ; for its pathogenic 
power to set up symptoms would be enhanced as soon 
as the animal became debilitated owing to the agency 
of predisposing causes, such as starvation, bad hygiene, 
cold, etc. The case of tuberculosis is analogous, for we 
know that the tubercle bacillus may frequently be found 
inhabiting normally healthy people without producing 
lesions of tuberculosis. 

Ferry's answer to the assertion that B. bronchisepticus 
is a saprophyte normally inhabiting the respiratory tract 
of healthy dogs, and which can only be regarded as a 
secondary invader, is : 

"When this same objection has been brought up in 
discussing some of my papers .... I have always asked 
the critics if they ever found the organism normally 
themselves, or knew of anyone else, and the answer 
has been in the negative. B. bronchisepticus is not a 
normal inhabitant of the respiratory tract of healthy 
dogs, but these dogs are 'carriers.' I have autopsied 
between four and five hundred dogs, both healthy and 
diseased, and speak from experience. I have had carriers 
in vaccinated animals and in animals that have been 
housed with distemper dogs, but in the ordinary healthy 
dog I have not found the organism. The disease has 
been produced experimentally with this organism— there 
is no doubt about it ; and dogs have been protected against 
infection with both live and dead organisms injected 
subcutaneously— there is no doubt about that either; 
could this be done with an ordinary saprophyte normally 
found in healthy dogs ?" 

In the same, letter he dealt with the supposition that 
B. bronchisepticus sets up a broncho-pneumonia which 



ETIOLOGY 23 

might have no connection with typical distemper, as 
follows : 

"Broncho-pneumonia is not the only pathological 
lesion induced by the experimental injection of B. bronchi- 
septicus. I have seen all stages of the disease produced, 
from a slight cough and diarrhoea to a case of distemper 
with all the sequelae, due to secondary infections, and 
even a general septicaemia, where a pure culture of 
B. bronchisepticus was isolated from the heart's blood. 
Torrey, according to his publications, has had practi- 
cally the same experience. He used the nasal route of 
injection, while I used the tracheal." 

Analogy to Swine Fever. — The whole case seems to be 
analogous to that of swine fever, the etiology of which 
is universally declared to be a filterable virus, in spite of 
the fact that in every pig dead of the disease the Bacillus 
suipestifer can be demonstrated in its lesions. Although 
regarded like the B. bronchisepticus as only a secondary 
invader, it is nevertheless a fact that this organism, if 
fed to healthy pigs, will produce a typical attack of 
swine fever, even as B. bronchisepticus will set up typical 
distemper, and in neither case is the presence of the 
virus essential. It is equally true that whereas each 
virus when inoculated into its respective animal will 
produce its particular disease, the B. suipestifer can be 
unfailingly recovered from lesions in the pig, and the 
B. bronchisepticus from those in the dog, thus apparently 
proving that the organisms are constantly and signifi- 
cantly associated with these maladies. Swine fever, as 
experimentally produced by feeding the culture of B. 
suipestifer, is, however, not naturally contagious to other 
pigs, and confers no immunity, and we have yet to be 
assured that the distemper provoked in one dog by 
artificial inoculation of Ferry's bacillus is infective to 
other dogs by cohabitation, and after a period of illness 
leaves them permanently protected against future attacks 



24 CANINE DISTEMPER 

of the disease. (4) When I suggested to Dr. Ferry 
that a dog suffering from distemper as a result of 
experimental inoculation with B. bronchisepticus would 
not be a source of natural infection to healthy dogs his 
reply was : 

" What difference does it make so long as the disease 
was produced? If distemper is the result of the 
experimental inoculation, that proves conclusively the 
specificity of the organism. There are several examples 
one might cite where animals experimentall}' inoculated 
with an injection are not sources of natural infection to 
other animals. It is a common laboratory occurrence ! 
However, I am not so sure that a dog experimentally 
infected with distemper, using B. bronchisepticus, is not 
a source of infection. There are no references in the 
literature that I have run across to that effect, and I 
have had several cases where I felt sure that they were 
sources of infection. This criticism, on the face of it, is 
no argument against the specific nature of the organism." 

Copeman's Bacillus. — Dr. Monckton Copeman, F.R.S., 
isolated a cocco-bacillus in 1900,* which he claimed was 
the specific causal organism of distemper, and he made a 
vaccine for prophylactic purposes, which some users are 
agreed affords a valuable protection, not only in warding 
off attacks, but in rendering those which are contracted 
very much more benign. [This will ' be discussed at 
greater length under " Preventive Inoculation."] There 
seems some reason to believe that Copeman's organism 
is very similar to — if not identical with — the one which 
Ferry isolated in 1908 and described in 1910. The 
former, however, is said to form frequently long chains 
(see Fig. 2), whilst the latter is found singly or in pairs. 
In a letter, Ferry observed : 

" While I believe that Dr. Copeman might have been 
working with B. bronchisepticus — and I told him so 

* Proceedings of Royal Society, vol. Ixvii. 



ETIOLOGY 25 

personally when I had the pleasure of meeting him in 
London in 1914 — yet the organism he described was not 
identical with B. bronchisepticus. According to his pub- 
lished description, his organism liquefied gelatin (see 
p. 32), which puts it entirely out of the class with B. 
bronchisepticus, as B. pertussis, B. abortis, B. melitensis, and 
B. alkaligenes are as close to B. bronchisepticus as that." 







Fig. 2. — Dr. Copeman's Bacillus, showing Chain Fortjation. 

From a pure old culture in beef-peptone broth, x 1,500. Proceed- 
ings of National Veterinary Medical Association, 1902. 

Copeman obtained a few isolated colonies of his 
organism from the base of the brain in the case of a dog 
which had died of distemper. The' fact of his finding 
these discrete colonies, few in number, at the base of the 
brain, .along with the fact of the other situations in the 
bodies of distempered dogs where he found his organism — 
the fact that he never obtained it from the blood, and the 
cultural appearances on potato — disposed Dr. M'Gowan, 
in later years, to consider Copeman's organism was 
identical to his own.* 

* Journ. Path, and Bact., 191 1. 



26 CANINE DISTEMPER 



METHODS OF INFECTION 



As regards the means by which an animal naturally 
becomes a recipient of the contagium, we may safely 
rule -out inoculation, and regard that as almost ex- 
clusively confined to the research laboratory; we are 
thus left with two other methods— namely, inhalation 
and ingestion — and there seems little doubt but that the 
disease is contracted both ways. 

Cases are known in which healthy susceptible dogs 
have accidentally gained access to the food and water of 
a distemper patient, which had undoubtedly been con- 
taminated with infective discharges, and as a result of 
partaking of the meal have contracted the disease. 

This, in addition to the undisputed fact that rubbing the 
nasal or ocular discharge of a diseased animal over the 
lips or nostrils (from which it is licked) of a healthy 
dog will produce distemper in the latter, should be 
sufficient proof that ingestion is a frequent natural 
method of infection. My personal view, however, is 
that the majority of cases of distemper arise through 
inhalation of the contagium, either by droplet infection 
or by aerial infection. 

In the former method, the bacillus or its toxin is con- 
veyed through the atmosphere as, or in, small droplets 
of sputum which have been thrown into the air during 
the act of coughing or sneezing, and which remain 
suspended for some time. By aerial infection, the con- 
tagium is transported through the air by means of small 
dust particles. Distemper can be as easily spread in this 
way as can tuberculosis, through the drying-up and dis- 
semination of sputum, nasal discharges, etc. Blaine said 
in 1851: "... even being exposed to the air impregnated 
with the exhalations from a distempered dog for a few 
minutes is sufficient for the purpose." 



METHODS OF INFECTION 27 

Unfortunately the dog habitually has its nose to the 
ground; he smells everything everywhere, and in con- 
sequence becomes especially prone to the baneful effects 
of injurious dust, etc. How else can we account for 
distemper being caught by a dog, which, in its innocence 
and curiosity merely runs into a kennel, stable, or room 
in which a distempered animal had previously been ; 
runs out again without touching the walls or eating any- 
thing, and in a few days falls sick? HjepW did Sir E. 
Shackleton's dogs become infected if not by inhalation, 
as they never left their crates (except on the ship) 
between Northern Canada and England, and yet about 
twenty-two were subjects of distemper upon arrival ? 
Nevertheless, Youatt was correct when he remarked : 
" There is a great deal of caprice about the way in which 
a dog will or will not become infected, for I have more 
than once kept a dog in the foul yard of my hospital 
for several successive weeks, and he has not become 
diseased." 

Messrs. Sewell, Gray, Parsons, and Flook are all of 
opinion* that distemper is seldom, if ever, communicated 
from the affected to the non-affected by aerial infection. 
The contrary view is held by Friedberger, Frohner, 
Blaine, Glass, Miiller, myself, and various others, and 
whoever may be correct, it is at least a wise precaution 
to regard it as transmissible by aerial infection. 

This chapter would not be complete were particular 
stress not laid upon the fact thai distemper can only arise 
from the presence of its specific coniagium, and that a cold 
will not and cannot produce it. As a contributory or 
predisposing factor, chills among other conditions are 
forces to be reckoned with, and will be discussed in the 
section dealing with predisposing causes. One writer 
declared that " whilst distemper is highly contagious, it 
* Proceedings of National Veterinary Association. 



28 CANINE DISTEMPER 

is yet frequently generated, and in this bears an analogy 
to mange, and to farcy and glanders in the horse." Such 
a theory as "spontaneous generation," however, is 
quite exploded, for all the maladies mentioned can only 
be created by their respective specific parasites or 
organisms. 

Latent Infection. — There is, of course, such a con- 
tingency as latent infection, in which an animal appears 
to harbour the contagium and disseminate it to others, 
without itself showing any manifestations of disease 
whatever. Such an animal is said to be a " carrier," and 
he may remain so for at least three months, and possibly 
even longer, after recovering from distemper, especially 
if there had been middle ear or frontal sinus com- 
plications. 



CHAPTER IV 

BACTERIOLOGICAL NOTES 

One of the first to write intelligently at any length on 
the subject of distemper was Jenner, who in 1809, while 
recognising the true infectious nature of the disease, was 
the first to differentiate between distemper and rabies, 
and also the first to show that it was not communicable 
to man. Later this was disputed by many of the best 
writers. 

Since that time many have been actively engaged in 
attempting to discover the etiology of the disease, and 
of them all, the primary investigator to discover an 
organism was — 

Semmer, who in 1875 isolated a particularly short and 
narrow bacillus in the blood of sick dogs a few hours 
after death. He concluded this was the causal organism, 
and was strengthened in his opinion by — 

Laosson's researches in 1882, in which a micrococcus 
and a bacillus were found, and cultivated in broth ; with 
the mixed culture he claimed to have transmitted "the 
disease. 

Krajewski, in 1881, observed micrococci in tissues and 
blood. 

Rabe (1883) found uniform globules of mft^jite size, 
sometimes lying together in heaps (staphylococci), or 
connected in twos or fours (diplococci),'-or in rows of 
four or five (streptococci), •stainable dark blue with 
methylene viokf.,SHe, libwever, could not reproduce the 
disease; an^ Friedberger, who confirmed his findings, 
left the specificity of the organisms an open question. 

Mathis (1887) found a diplococcus in the fluid of the 

29 



30 CANINE DISTEMPER 

tissues, sputum, and pustules, which he cultivated in 
neutral or slightly alkaline broth. Pure cultures were 
made, which, on injection into healthy susceptible dogs, 
set up catarrhal and pustular symptoms accompanied by 
acute pyrexia, and followed sometimes by death of the 
animal. Survivors, however, had acquired an immunity. 

Marcone and Melon! (1888) isolated staphylococci which, 
when cultivated and inoculated into dogs, set up pustules 
but no typical distemper. 

Jacquot and Legrain (1890) found in the pustules motile 
micrococci which were from o'6 to oSfi* in diameter, 
and which formed diplococci ; but inoculations of their 
cultures produced no better results than Marcone did 
with his organism, and brought about no immunity. 
The coccus found by Mathis was thought by Lignieres, 
Carre, and others to be identical with this one, and it 
was considered to be the direct cause of the pustules. 

Millais (1890) found in lungs, liver, trachea, spleen, and 
nasal mucus a long bacillus which, on inoculation, set 
up typical distemper, and which liquefied gelatin, 
descending as a flaky mass in the almost clear fluid, 
which was covered by a whitish scum. Finally, when the 
whole of the gelatin was liquefied, the flakes gathered at 
the base, and, if stirred, appeared to be of a ropy con- 
sistency. He also found a micrococcus in great abundance, 
which he thought was the cause of the lung lesions. The 
two combined caused the pneumo-distemper {Veterinary 
Journal, M^ay, 1890). 

Sehantyr (1892) claimed to have found three organisms, 
and divided distemper into three diseases, each produced 
by a distinct organism (see p. 7). 

Jensen ([896) declared that the pneumonia of distemper 
was due to a streptococcus, which he demonstrated. 

Valerio (1896) found in the pustules, spinal medulla. 



BACTERIOLOGICAL NOTES 31 

brain, and lungs an ovoid bacillus 0*3/* wide by r20 to 
2'$/i long, motile, Gram-positive, causing gas production 
in gelatin stab, cloudiness in broth, and not coagulating 
milk. Inoculation with this bacillus produced symptoms 
of distemper, particularly of the nervous type. 

Babes and Barzaneseo (1897) isolated a motile bacillus 
in two cases. Seven dogs out of nine inoculated died of 
distemper in about two weeks. 

Petropawlowsky (1897) found a bacillus similar to 
Bacillus coll 

Taty and Jacquin (1898) discovered a diplococcus in 
the central nervous system, which they regarded as the 
cause of the nervous form of distemper. 

Jess (1899) cultivated a bacillus (i-8 to 2'3/i long by 
0'6 to o-g/i wide) from the nasal discharges, blood, and 
peritoneal fluid ; Gram-positive, and forming a dull grey 
film on agar and a white one on potato ; found to be 
pathogenic to dogs, cats, and guinea-pigs. He con- 
sidered his organism dissimilar to any of those hitherto 
discovered, and also stated that he was able to produce 
distemper experimentally with it. 

Copeman (1900) found a cocco-bacillus in the nasal 
secretion, tracheal mucus, and exudation from the lunge, 
which, in smears from broth, not infrequently formed 
chains, sometimes of considerable length ; Gram-negative, 
and growing readily on agar at 36° C. in greyish glisten- 
ing circular colonies ; it grows well in broth, which first 
is turbid, but later a deposit falls and the liquid clears ; 
growth on serum slow; occasionally gives a moist 
yellowish growth on potato ; gelatin liquefied and milk 
not coagulated. Inoculations of dogs with living cultures 
produced attacks, occasionally fatal, of distemper. In one 
instance in which the bloodvessels of the brain were 
found to be much congested, inoculation of a tube of 
sloping agar with a platinum loopful of cerebro-spinal 



32 CANINE DISTEMPER 

fluid, well spread over the surface of the agar, resulted in 
the appearance of half a dozen isolated colonies of a pure 
culture of his bacillus. He never succeeded in obtaining 
cultures from the blood. 

In a recent interview with Dr. Copeman, he explained 
to me that, although in his original paper read before the 
Royal Society in December, 1900, he stated, "If gelatin 
be inoculated, growth occurs slowly at room temperature, 
and after a time the medium tends to become liquefied," 
he was, in fact, misled by the great heat of that summer, 
and that subsequent observations proved that gelatin 
was not liquefied. 

Lig-nieres and Phisalix (i 900-1 901) found a long bacillus 
which they concluded was Pasteurella canina (an organism 
similar to B. avisepticus), cultures of which, when inocu- 
lated into susceptible dogs, produced typical clinical 
signs of distemper— g.^., catarrh of the nasal and 
conjunctival mucous membranes, broncho-pneumonia, 
pustules, gastro-enteritis, corneal ulceration, chorea, 
paralysis, etc.— the malignity of the attack being modified 
according to the dose. The organism was a Gram- 
negative, non-motile one, which assumed a cocco-bacillary 
form in guinea-pigs, and both authorities testified to its 
presence in the heart's blood of dogs in acute distemper, 
though they were unable to isolate it in nasal and other 
discharges. Phisalix has often found the Pasteurella in 
very long filamentous forms, which have all the cultural, 
staining, and virulent characters of typical Pasteurella, 
though they become gradually attenuated after several 
sub-cultivations, and with age. Passage through the 
dog, however, restored their former virulence. Phisalix 
prepared from its cultures an immunising vaccine, which 
he and Ligniferes declared gave protection against dis- 
temper. Copeman tested it and found that it was in many 
cases ineffectual against infective matter prepared from 



BACTERIOLOGICAL NOTES 33 

the organisms alleged to be the cause of the malady. The 
Pasteurella cam's was freely criticised by several authori- 
ties, Jensen considering it was not the cause of distemper, 
and McFadyean, Richter, Vallee, and Carre stating 
that it merely set up an accidental infection.. Phisalix 
came to the conclusion that it generated an exotoxin 
which, by disturbing nutrition, weakened the animal's 










'•'1 • ,c- -•, * . -tf-'tiSSfW* 

i^MJ^.Ji-' / , - >». i'* ^" •• P^iS 




-e^.*-? > /*v -J'"-*' iw> 



Fig. 3.— Pasteurella Cams of LigniAres and Phisalix. x 1,000. 
Proceedings of National Veterinary Medical Association, 1902. 

natural defensive powers and facilitated secondary infec- 
tions. Indeed, it is an opinion shared by many observers, 
including myself, that animals succumb to these secondary 
infections more often than to the primary disease. 
. , Cadiot and BFeton (1901) pursued some investigations, 
as a result of which they concluded that the infectious 
broncho-pneumonia was a disease quite independent of 
distemper proper. 

Von Wundseheim (1905) discovered an organism of 
the hemorrhagic septicaemia type which he named 

3 



34 CANINE DISTEMPER 

B. canicidus, pure cultures of which produced the usual 
typical symptoms of distemper. Its habitats were the 
nasal discharge, spleen, and blood. 

Carre (1905), by his numerous experiments, satisfied 
himself (and a considerable following) that the conta- 
gium of distemper was a powerfully pathogenic filterable 
virus, which could be found in the early watery nasal 
discharges and in the serous effusions of the pericar- 
dium, peritoneum, and pleura of dogs which had rapidly 
died of the complaint. He found that 2 or 3 drops of 
either of these fluids would induce typical distemper 
symptoms and frequently death ; that filtrates contained 
no discoverable or cultivable organism, and that animals 
infected experimentally would pass on the contagion to 
healthy animals, and would — if they survived — be 
immune to further attacks. 

Bosc (1905) concurred in this view, and expressed his 
opinion that the virus was composed of very minute 
protozoa, and that, in consequence, distemper should be 
classed as a protozoal disease. 

Hewer (1906) found a short, small, non-motile. Gram- 
negative bacillus giving a fine white growth on agar, 
slightly clouding broth with granular sediment and 
stringy masses, and not liquefying gelatin. 

KFeg-enow (1909) raised a dissenting voice; he con- 
sidered the watery discharges were not infective, and 
that the primary cause of the malady was not an ultra- 
visible virus. 

Ferry (1910), after long experiment and research, 
isolated the B. bronchisepticus, which, after subsequent 
investigation, he satisfied himself was the specific cause 
of distemper. He states : . 

" A bacillus was found which grew slowly and with 
difficulty when first isolated from the body, so that 
extreme care was necessary when looking for the 



BACTERIOLOGICAL NOTES 35 

colonies. At the end of twenty-four hours it was often 
impossible to see anything on the surface of the agar 
without the use of a lens. The colonies appeared as 
pin points among the larger colonies of other bacteria, 
and at times it was very difficult to isolate the bacillus 
on account of the overgrowth of other organisms. Blood 
cultures were taken as a routine measure at all autopsies, 
and at first nothing grew but the organisms of the 
secondary infections. Later, however, the method was 
changed. The heart was opened aseptically, and from 
I c.c. to 5 c.c. of blood drawn off with a pipette and 
planted in' a flask containing 50 c.c. of broth, or dis- 
tributed in several tubes of broth. After twenty-four 
hours in the incubator, plates were made, or slope agar 
inoculated in successive tubes. Such blood cultures were 
taken in 63 cases. In 29 the cultures were positive, the 
bacilli being found in 18, in 13 of which it was uncon- 
taminated, in 3 associated with staphylococci, and in 2 
with unidentified bacteria. The remaining 11 positive 
blood cultures had staphylococci only in 6, staphylococci 
with an unknown bacterium in i, and unidentified 
bacteria in 4 cases." 

The characteristics of the organism were : 
Short slender bacillus, o'S to 2-0 /i by o'S /i, found 
singly or in pairs ; sporeless, flagellated, actively and 
progressively motile ; Gram-negative, and not staining 
readily with ordinary stains, but with Loeffler's methy- 
lene-blue shows a characteristic bipolar appearance ; no 
liquefaction of gelatin or coagulation of milk or gas 
formation. After twenty-four hours' incubation on agar, 
there is a moist dew-drop growth, which later becomes 
larger and opaque ; bouillon cloudy ; older growth with 
heavy stringy sediment ; potato tan ; light tan in twenty- 
four hours to dark tan in three weeks ; medium also 
becomes tanned. 

When cultures are taken early in the disease, the 
B. bronchisepiicus is found in the respiratory tract in 
every case, and if taken in the first stage is found 



36 CANINE DISTEMPER 

uncontaminated. The organism was found in the larynx, 
trachea, large and small bronchi, lungs, and blood. 

M'Gowan and Torrey (191 1) had been working inde- 
pendently of each other, and simultaneously with Ferry, 
and both isolated what was agreed to be the identical 
microbe found by Ferry. M'Gowan's bacillus was taken 
from the nasal and tracheal mucous membrane in all 
cases, from empyemata of the middle ear, from meninges 
(chorea cases), and lungs (pneumonia cases); never in 
the blood, the condition thus not being of a septicaemic 
nature. It was found to be pathogenic to dogs, cats, 
rabbits, monkeys, ferrets, and guinea-pigs. Its charac- 
teristics were : Gram-negative, non-sporulating, feebly 
motile, flagellated ; no acid, indol, or gas formation ; 
gelatin not liquefied ; and on glycerine agar it assumes 
an almost coccal form {Journ. Path, and Bad., vol. xv., 
191 1). Torrey did not publish his observations until 1913 
(Journ. Med. Res., vol. xxvii., 1913), when they substan- 
tially agreed with all that Ferry and M'Gowan had pre- 
viously said. 

The Great War doubtless curtailed further concen- 
trated effort during the succeeding years, for up to the 
moment of writing, no new theory or discovery has been 
propounded on this most complex question of etiology. 
Investigations are, however, now being actively pursued 
in this and various other countries, and the fervent hope 
and ambition of all concerned is that a conclusion may, 
ere long, be formulated which will admit of no denial, 
and be accepted by all. 

The conclusions to be drawn from a review of the 
observations of the above-named investigators is that 
the organisms of Ferry, M'Gowan, Torrey, Copeman (in 
view of his statement regarding the non-liquefaction 
of gelatin), Semmer, Laosson, Babes and Barzanesco 
have a marked similarity— at least morphologically, if 



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38 CANINE DISTEMPER 

not culturally — for upon reference to the table on p. 37 
one finds that in all cases inoculation was claimed to 
have produced the true disease, followed by immunity ; 
all were cocco-bacilli, or very short slender organisms ; 
all could be demonstrated in the blood (except Copeman's 
and M'Gowan's) ; all were motile and non-sporulating ; 
all Gram-negative; and, where records are available, 
none coagulated milk. 

Is it not possible — nay, even probable— that they are 
one and the same organism? Referring to the table 
on micrococci (p. 39), it is evident that all authorities 
except Mathis are in agreement that they do not set up 
the typical manifestations of distemper, nor is immunity 
conferred; they are regarded purely and simply as 
secondary organisms, though doubtless very pathogenic, 
and probably responsible for a greater mortality than 
the specific organism. 

It is noteworthy how few of the organisms were dis- 
coverable in the cerebro-spinal system, the only examples 
being those of Copeman, Taty, Jacquin, Valerio, Phisalix, 
and M'Gowan, and in all cases the predominant symp- 
toms produced were of the nervous variety; yet when 
M'Gowan, Sabrazes, and Muratet endeavoured to culti- 
vate growth of any organism from the cerebro-spinal 
fluid of dogs and cats afflicted with paraplegia, their 
results were entirely negative. 

Secondary Invading- Organisms. — Whilst admitting the 
difficulty of being able to assert with absolute precision 
that any particular organism is the prime factor in the 
etiology of genuine distemper, we are definitely aware 
of the existence of a multiplicity of germs playing a 
secondary, though important, role in the d^veloprhent of 
the disease. On account of the irregularity and infre- 
quency with which these organisms are isolated, pro- 
ducing upon inoculation only local lesions or those of 



BACTERIOLOGICAL NOTES 



a9 



a pyaemic character, one concludes they have no con- 
nection with the primary infection. As the distempered 



Investigator. 


Organism 
Discovered. 


Where Occurring 
in Body. 


Disease 
Produced. 


Immiinitv 
Conferred. 


Semmer 


Diplococci 








Laosson 


Diplococci 








MiUais 


Micrococci 


Nasal secre- 
tion 


Pulmonary 
complications 




Phisalix 


Streptococci 


Lungs and 
pleural effu- 
sion 






Ferry 


Streptococci 
Staphylococci 
Very small 
micrococci 


Eye lesions 
Blood 


No typical 

distemper 

lesions 


None 


Krajewski 


Micrococci 


Tissues and 
blood 




None 


Rabe 
Friedberger 


Staphylococci 

Streptococci 

Diplococci 


Nasal dis- 
charge 

Ocular dis- 
charge 
Pustules 


Distemper not 
transmitted 


None 


Mathis 


Diplococci 
(i to 3 /It dia- 
meter) 


Sputum 
Tissues 

Pustules 


Similar symp- 
toms to those 
of distemper, 
but chiefly 
pustules 


Immunity 
conferred 


Marcone 
Melone 


Staphylococci 




Only pustules 
produced 


None 


Jacquot 
Legraine 


Motile diplo- 
cocci 
Streptococci 


In pustules 


Only pustules 


None 


Jensen 


Streptococci 




Pneumonic 
symptoms only 


None 


Taty 
Jacquin 


Diplococci 


Nervous sys- 
tem 


Nervous 
symptoms 


None 



Fig. s.- 



-Micrococci associated with Distemper and regarded 
AS Secondary Invaders. 



dog practically always suffers from one or more of these 
secondary infections, and since these are often the 



40 CANINE DISTEMPER 

greatest difficulty with which we have to contend, it is 
rather important to have some idea of them, and the 
conditions under which they are found. 

Many of the earlier observers apparently confined 
their attention to the purulent discharges which were 
thought to have been occasioned by the primary infec- 
tion, and they found chiefly staphylococci — esTpeciaWy 
albus, though sometimes aureus — these being constantly 
present in all purulent affections. Towards the end of 
an acute case this coccus may also be sometimes demon- 
strated in the blood, the animal probably dying from the 
terminal staphylococcic infection. Streptococci have occa- 
sionally been observed in conjunctival discharges, lungs, 
pleural effusions, and pustule contents, and have been 
blamed as the cause of pneumonic lesions of distemper. 
Diplococci have been found in sputum, nervous system, 
tissues, pustules, etc., and have been held accountable 
for production of abscesses and the cutaneous and 
nervous symptoms. Several bacilli have been isolated 
from nasal and other discharges, bronchi, lungs, spleen, 
liver, kidneys, blood, etc., which, if inoculated subcu- 
taneously, often produce an oedematous swelling or 
abscess at the site of inoculation, and even death ; and in 
these cases the organism may be isolated in pure culture 
from the blood, though that is far from proving that 
they are the primary cause of the disease. In the last- 
named organs Ferry often found a large bacillus, which 
he believed to be a terminal invader; "for dogs dying 
when this organism is present always have a putrid, 
cadaverous odour several days before they die, and 
after death the surrounding atmosphere becomes almost 
unbearable." 

Practitioners who have dealt much with fatal dis- 
temper will doubtless readily remember having encoun- 
tered this stench ; it could not be forgotten. A diphtheroid 



BACTERIOLOGICAL NOTES 41 

bacillus has been isolated from eye secretions, and anotiier 
from the lungs of dogs dying from typical symptoms of 
distemper, but the organisms proved to be non-patho- 
genic for dogs or other animals. 

The superintendent of a well-known English research 
laboratory informs me that the organisms isolated from 
a large number of cases of distemper were : 

In discharge from the eyes one or more of the follow- 
ing — Staphylococcus aureus and albus, Streptococcus brevis, 
a diphtheroid bacillus of B. kerosis type. 

In discharge from the nose one or more of the follow- 
ing — Staphylococcus aureus and albus, B.coli communis, 
Pneumococcus, Streptococcus maximus, B. bronchisepticus. 

From post-mortem cases all the following organisms : 
B. bronchisepticus, B. coli communis, Pneumococcus, Strep- 
tococcus brevis and maximus. 



CHAPTER V 

PREDISPOSING CAUSES 

As previously emphasised, nothing whatever can cause 
distemper except exposure to its specific contagium, but 
many circumstances can arise which tend to render the 
animal more susceptible to its reception. It is univer- 
sally accepted that any condition which tends to weaken 
or debilitate the animal, impairs the natural defence of 
the body, and reduces its power of resistance to the 
invasion of pathogenic organisms, which are perpetually 
seeking a suitable soil upon which to grow. The human 
or animal body only becomes a suitajMe. soil when its 
resistance has been broken down, and the invader is 
victorious. 

Influence of Breed and Age. — Breed and age have a 
marked influence on predisposition, and, as pointed out 
in the chapter on " Susceptibility," age particularly plays 
an important part, young dogs being much more prone 
to contract the malady than old. Similarly, highly-bred 
and delicate pampered lapdogs offer very little re- 
sistance to the infection, and when attacked in puppy- 
hood large numbers succumb to it. The mongrel has 
ever proved itself to be the stouter animal in disease, 
and the more remote its breed is from the pure, the 
greater seems its power of resistance and recovery. 

Influence of In-breeding. — In-breeding exerts a weaken- 
ing influence on the constitution, and is too frequently 
responsible for rickets, deformities, alopecia, sterility, 
and mental incompetence ; thus such an animal, robbed 
of its vital faculties, becomes an easy prey to disease, 
which probably terminates fatally. 

42 



PREDISPOSING CAUSES 43 

Influence of Acclimatisation. — Recently imported or 
unacclimatised dogs are particularly predisposed to dis- 
temper, since it is a fact that dogs born and bred in one 
locality or country appear to acquire a certain immunity 
to the one or more strains of infection which contaminate 
its surroundings, but when moved into an entirely new 
area become subjects of the disease. 

Influence of Faulty Hygiene. — Crowding many animals 
together, even under good hygienic conditions, but 
especially when associated with careless management, 
permitting of insufficient space and ventilation, and dis- 
regard of thorough cleanliness and disinfection, prove 
a sure method of courting the contagium. Similarly, 
lack of exercise, unnatural systems of feeding and rear- 
ing, starvation, fatigue from super-abundant or enforced 
exercise, or from prolonged travelling by rail or sea, 
all tend to lower the system, and render the animal 
more susceptible. 

Influence of Chills and Debilitating Conditions. — Prob- 
ably the chief predisposing caUse is chill, brought on by 
exposure in various ways— e.^. : (i) A dog may be play- 
fully thrown into water, presumably to teach it to swim ; 
it emerges wet, and shivers in a cold wind. (2) It may 
be bathed and insufficiently dried. (3) It may be inad- 
vertently locked out in the open all night. (4) Or a 
wretched yard dog may occupy a leaky, bedless, or 
draughty kennel in severe wintry weather. But what- 
ever the cause, the result is the same, and should the dog 
at this time come into contact with the infection of dis- 
temper, he may contract the disease, notwithstanding 
the fact that he may have previously suffered from it. 

Then we have as contributory factors the debility 
arising from the ignorant use of purgatives and vermi- 
fuges, and, less frequently, that following severe surgical 
operations, parturition, and prostrating diseases. 



44 CANINE DISTEMPER 

Seasonal Influences. — Finally, there are seasonal in- 
fluences to be contended with, for dogs — hke human 
beings— are more prone to fall ill in moist, muggy, and 
changeable weather than they are in fine warm or 
even fine cold weather. This is presumably why dis- 
temper is more prevalent in the spring and autumn, 
seasons which are fickle and trying. The exceptionally 
dry warm summer experienced during 192 1 did not by 
any means increase the number of cases of distemper, 
as might have been expected by some observers, but my 
experience was that it occasioned a noticeable decrease. 

In Youatt's opinion distemper frequently follows 
mange ; " in fact, if he treated such a case of skin 
disease, he would certainly expect the dog to contract 
distemper as a general routine." There is, however, no 
connection whatever between the two maladies, and the 
only justification for Youatt's assertion is that mange is 
frequently a debilitating disease, and might thereby 
figure as a predisposing cause like any of the other 
circumstances mentioned above. 



CHAPTER VI 

SOURCES OF INFECTION AND THEIR 
PRACTICAL AVOIDANCE 

In indicating the multiplicity of means by which this 
highly contagious disease is spread among dogs, it is 
anticipated that owners will be materially enlightened as 
to the steps it is desirable to adopt in preventing infec- 
tion, not only of their own dogs, but among 'the whole 
canine race. Forewarned is forearmed, and if one is 
cognisant of the pitfalls, they can usually be avoided. 
The most fruitful source of infection is direct contact with 
a living animal suffering from distemper; almost as 
potent, however, is mediate or indirect contact, accom- 
plished through the agency of contaminated kennels, 
baskets, rugs, clothing, brushes, leads and collars, 
sponges, feeding utensils, spoons, thermometers, human 
agency and clothes; or, in fact, any article what- 
soever which, having been in the immediate proximity 
of a distempered dog, becomes a source of great danger 
to the healthy. It is the discharges, both ocular and 
nasal, but particularly from the nose, and the coughed- 
up sputum, which are so infective. Especially is this 
the case in the early stages of the disease, and when 
they become smeared in even the most minute quantity 
upon the ground or on such objects as are mentioned 
above, they are likely to be conveyed over wide 
areas, and become the invisible means of spreading the 
contagion to innumerable animals. Therefore, prompt 
and efficient measures for disinfection of inanimate 
objects, and the strict isolation of affected animals, must 
be adopted. 

45 



46 CANINE DISTEMPER 

I have long since learned to regard with the greatest 
suspicion any catarrhal condition of the dog simulating 
what is popularly termed "cold in the head," or "snuf- 
fles," or "relaxed bowels," and contend that there is 
little, if anything, which distinguishes an ordinary chill 
(non-infective) from specific distemper in the early stages. 

If all dog owners would be equally suspicious, and 
would isolate a dog immediately it manifested the slightest 
symptom, many a serious outbreak would be avoided. 
There are, nevertheless, numbers of people who adopt 
this procedure ; then finding after several days that the 
animal appeared to regain its normal liveliness and 
commence to feed, they permit it to mix again with the 
other dogs, only to discover later that the slight malaise 
and huskiness had in fact been distemper in benign form, 
and that the convalescent dog had infected the rest of 
the kennel through being put back too soon. 

Duration of Infection after Convalescence. — Infectivity 
still exists for a time during convalescence, and in 
estimating the time which must elapse after an attack 
before a dog can be stated to be free from infection we 
must take into consideration the date upon which the 
very last trace of any symptom whatever was noticed — 
such as cough, discharges, diarrhoea, or temperature — at 
which time the dog might be pronounced as completely 
restored to health. Then a week should be allowed to 
pass to guard against the possibility of relapse, and if 
still well and bright, the patient might receive a disin- 
fectant bath with due precautions, thereafter being safely 
assumed as germ-free. ' 

Disposal of Contaminated Articles. — On the termination 
of an attack of distemper, all old brushes and other 
articles which have been used on the sick dog should 
be burned, if they do not lend themselves to thorough 
disinfection. 



SOURCES Of INFECTION 47 

Mediate Contagion. — In many cases people take the 
wise precaution to isolate an ailing dog, but forget that 
in attending to its wants the kennelman is liable to carry 
infection on his hands, boots, or clothing to other dogs. 
Either one man must devote his sole attention to the 
sick, or a system must be devised of donning overalls 
and goloshes before entering the infectious ward, re- 
moving them on leaving, and also washing the hands. 
The disease being so highly infectious, it is absolutely 
essential to study these details, as half-measures are 
doomed to failure in this as in most undertakings. 

Dog Shows.— T>og shows are undoubtedly a prolific 
source of contagion in spite of veterinary inspections, 
for, as already explained, a dog may be a "carrier" — 
i.e., have the infection latent in its system — whilst to all 
outward appearance in perfect health, or may be passed 
in by a veterinary inspector during the " period of in- 
cubation " — i.e., before visible symptoms have mani- 
fested themselves. A proportion of these " carriers " 
can be detected by taking the temperatures. 

Veterinary Inspections at Dog Shows. — My personal 
experience of veterinary inspections at shows is that, 
as at present conducted, they are a farce. I suppose 
the majority of exhibitors are conscientious enough to 
desire their dogs to be examined on entrance, though 
a goodly proportion, I fear, regard the whole thing as 
a waste of time, and unless carefully observed they will 
slip in without a word. Should the examining surgeon 
detain or debar a dog, however, even those of the con- 
scientious class become highly indignant, and proceed 
to protest vehemently that " the journey upset it," that 
" it is only a cold," or " it is always like that," or any other 
conceivable excuse ; and where the veterinary surgeon 
remains adamant, there are frequently altercations and 
unkind remarks. 



48 CANINE DISTEMPER 

Again, in many large shows tliere is often only one 
veterinary surgeon but several entrances, and although 
guiding barriers and notices are set up to direct exhibi- 
tors to him, he cannot attend to everybody simultane- 
ously, and as it is not strictly enforced that each should 
await his turn, many pass through in the crush unob- 
served. After all, the examinations can only be of a very 
cursory nature, and unless any striking symptom is 
apparent, it would be impossible to give a definite 
opinion as to whether distemper existed or not in any 
particular dog. The most that can be accomplished is 
to exclude any glaring cases of infectious disease, and 
even these may be overlooked if the veterinary inspector 
attends as a matter of mere form without any thought of 
performing a duty. 

His position is nearly always an honorary one, and 
the exhibitors must trust to his conscience and his 
willingness really to serve their interests. These would 
undoubtedly be best served if he were paid. Further- 
more, it would seem very desirable, if these inspections 
are to have any practical utility, that the exarnination of 
all animals should take place outside the hall, or in an 
annexe; for if a dog afterwards found to be suffering 
from distemper is allowed inside before it is inspected 
and rejected, the mischief is done, and contagion already 
spread. The gravity of allowing an infected ;dog into 
a show is emphasised when it is remembered that these 
animals travel from show to show all over the country, 
and may cause widespread infection, the blame for 
which might conceivably be attached to an innocent 
show, person, or dog, quite unconnected with the 
outbreak. 

Exhibitors' Legal Liability. — It should be pointed out 
that a person who sends, or causes to be sent, to a dog 
show any animal knowing it to be suffering from an 



SOURCES OF INFECTION 49 

infectious disease, exposes himself to the liability of 
being sued in a court of law for compensation by any 
other dog-owner who has sustained loss through such 
wilful neglect. 

A Suggestion to the Kennel Club. — In the interests of the 
dog-owning public, no less than of the dogs themselves, 
these entrance examinations should be compulsory, and 
admission of a dog to the hall should depend upon the 
possession by its owner of a pass obtained from the 
veterinary inspector. The latter, on his part, should 
make a careful and conscientious survey of each dog, 
and if the number of entries be beyond his power to 
cope with, assistance should be provided. Since his 
hands must necessarily pass from dog to dog, a wise 
precautionary measure would be for him to dip them 
frequently into a strong disinfectant solution without 
drying them. 

The adoption of rigid measures and the observance of 
detail are really the only sane methods of attempting to 
suppress this calamitous disease, and mitigate the great 
financial losses annually sustained. To labour the 
necessity for cleansing and disinfecting show-rings and 
benches is probably superfluous, as that is generally 
recognised and well carried out. The contingency of 
a visitor or exhibitor attending a dog-show having 
recently been in contact with a case of distemper at 
home is not to be overlooked, and for this reason the 
handling of exhibits by the public should as much as 
possible be discouraged. 

Risks Attending Brood Bitches, etc. — The system of dis- 
patching brood bitches from all parts of the country 
to stud dogs for mating purposes must inevitably assist 
in perpetuating the disease, and it would be difficult to 
suggest any measure calculated to overcome this danger 
entirely. The demand by both parties of a guarantee that 

4 



50 CANINE DISTEMPER 

no infectious disease exists, or has recently existed, in 
either establishment would probably assist materially, 
though that is open to some doubt. 

I?tsks Attending Dogs " on Approval."— A similar ob- 
jection attaches to the practice of sending dogs on trial 
or approval, for they have been frequently observed to 
fall ill soon after their return home. As previously 
stated, a dog usually acquires immunity after his initial 
attack. In other cases, where a puppy grows up in a 
contaminated environment, it frequently becomes immune 
to the predominating infection of its own kennel without 
exhibiting at any time more than the most transient 
indisposition ; but expose this same dog to a new strain 
of contagion and it readily falls a prey, or will in turn 
(although considered quite healthy) transmit a virulent 
attack to strange dogs. 

The only precautionary measure practicable is rigidly 
to isolate the brood bitch immediately upon her return 
from stud, and for the owner of the sire, after departure 
of the bitch, to do likewise for at least two weeks. Dogs 
returning from " approval " should be similarly treated 
as suspects before allowing them to mix again with the 
other rnmates of the kennel. Although this would not 
avoid the incidence of disease in the animals concerned, 
it would at least prevent an outbreak of serious dimen- 
sions throughout the whole establishment ; entaihng, 
most probably, considerable loss of time and great in- 
convenience, yet in the end it would prove a very much 
cheaper and wiser policy. 

Public Highways. — A constant source of infection are 
the public highways, parks, etc., where dogs of all 
breeds are perpetually exposed to both mediate and 
immediate contagion. If a dog is to be allowed its 
freedom to run in the streets there would seem to be no 
way of protecting it except by the somewhat uncertain 



SOURCES OF INFECTION 51 

agency of vaccines (see p. 58). Hounds and other sport- 
ing dogs, despite the fact that they cover considerable 
areas of the countryside, are not exposed to the same 
risk as the town dog, although it must not be supposed 
that the country is free from infection — far from it. 
When, however, one hound becomes affected, it is a 
serious matter, in view of the great probability of a rapid 
spread throughout the whole kennel, at any rate among 
the younger members of it. Thus, again, we find the need 
for strict isolation of those hounds which, having been 
placed out with farmers and others, are eventually 
returned to the master in the spring. 

Curtailing a General Outbreak. — Though such hounds 
may appear in the pink of health, it is very inadvisable 
to place them immediately with their companions, as, 
should a latent infection exist, a serious outbreak would 
probably result. In a case where the disease gains 
entrance undetected to a kennel containing a number of 
dogs, owing perhaps to carelessness in not isolating 
new-comers, the procedure is to remove the infected dog 
immediately, place it in strict isolation, and segregate all 
" in-contacts " — i.e., separate from the remainder all 
dogs which are known to have come in contact with the 
infected. 

If these cannot be determined owing to indiscriminate 
mixing, it is then advisable to group the dogs, allowing 
no members of one group to mix with those of any other. 
Should distemper appear later in one of the groups, the 
infected can be isolated, and the "in-contacts" segre- 
gated as before, and a general outbreak will possibly 
have been avoided. During these proceedings the tem- 
peratures of all dogs should be taken daily, and any rise 
over loi'S" F. regarded with great suspicion. 

Essentials of Isolation. — For isolation to be of real 
utility, the following points should be observed : 



52 CANINE "distemper 

1. The dog should have no direct or indirect contact 
with any other of its species. 

2. Exercise should be taken alone on ground used by 
no other dog, and no opportunity should be afforded 
for sniffing at other dogs through railings, gates, or 
windows, etc. 

3. The attendant should not have charge of any other 
dogs, or, if this is impracticable, he should, before dis- 
charging his duties to them, cover his clothing and boots 
with overalls and goloshes, and should wash his hands 
frequently with disinfecting fluid. 

4. No other person should visit the dog for fear of 
conveying infection from the suspected dog in isolation 
to other health}'' animals. 

5. Food and water utensils, brooms, and all other 
articles should be strictly confined to the isolation 
kennel, and not mixed with others or washed in the 
same water with others, nor used indiscriminately for 
other animals. 

6. Soiled bedding, sawdust, and excreta should be 
removed and burned, or placed where no other dog can 
have access to it. 

7. Frequent disinfection should be observed. 

Dog Bureaux. — To purchase a dog from the average 
dog bureau is really courting trouble, since no shop can 
truthfully be declared as free from infection. Any 
place at which fresh dogs are continually arriving is 
bound to be contaminated sooner or later, in spite of 
the most rigorous hygienic measures ; and where the 
management is in the least apathetic or careless, the evil 
grows in proportion. In course of practice it is my duty 
to inspect daily certain establishments of this kind, and 
although the greatest vigilance is exercised, there are 
discovered occasionally dogs which are manifesting 
signs of the malady, necessitating their instant removal 



SOURCES OF INFECTION 53 

and the routine labour of scrubbing and disinfecting 
their pens, and sterilising implements. Thus, unless 
rank carelessness can be proved, it is hardly fair to 
blame the shop should a dog develop distemper shortly 
after purchase ; it is the expected result and the risk 
must be accepted. 

Dog Homes. — Many people, in the hope of " picking up 
a bargain," bestow their patronage upon one or other of 
the homes for lost or starving dogs. In these cases, if a 
dog is purchased, it is a foregone conclusion that dis- 
temper has been bought too — with hardly an exception — 
unless the animal is middle-aged and possessed of an 
active immunity. 

To consign one's pet to any of these charitable institu- 
tions, to be boarded during the owner's pleasure, is 
equally risky, even though the boarders may be located 
in specially provided quarters well away from the stray 
dogs. A more commendable plan would be to choose 
a reputable boarding establishment, preferably where 
veterinary examination is available and no distemper 
cases permitted on the premises. Veterinary infirmaries 
and private sanatoria or boarding establishments which 
refuse to accept any animal suffering from, or under 
suspicion of, distemper will — if conducted on sound 
principles — have a system of isolation by which every 
new-comer will undergo observation in a special ward 
for three weeks, before being moved into the main build- 
ing or allowed to use the same exercising ground as 
other dogs of proved health. 

In further pursuance of this plan, a special kennelman 
is required, whose duties and instructions preclude him 
from attending to or mixing with any animals other than 
those under observation. To ensure further the non- 
communication of possible infection from one ward to 
another, measures should be taken to destroy all vermin. 



54 CANINE DISTEMPER 

particularly rodents (see Appendix). For the same 
reason, separate food and water dishes, bedding, biscuits, 
brushes, harness, and other gear should be kept for these 
isolated dogs, that they may be, as it were, self-sup- 
porting, and assume a separate entity. Notwithstanding 
all these precautions, however, I have known a dog to 
contract distemper even after it had been three months 
in quarantine, no case of the kind ever having been on 
the premises, and the quarantined dog never having left 
them. When the possible source of infection was sought, 
we were entirely at a loss to fathom it, and could only 
conclude that the dog was a " carrier," or that infection 
had reached it by way of the atmosphere from another 
carrier. Under ordinary conditions it is extremely rare 
for dogs in quarantine to become subjects of distemper, 
inasmuch as they live an entirely separate existence. 

Well-kept Kennels. — The premises of a veterinary sur- 
geon who really caters for dogs need never be the source 
of contagion believed by some, for his kennels will be 
tiled, or of brick faced with cement, thus lending them- 
selves to easy and thorough cleansing ; by reducing 
woodwork to a minimum in the construction of the 
kennels, absorption of urine, with its consequent evil 
smells, will be obviated ; efficient ventilation will be 
provided without permitting draughts, and the atmo- 
sphere will be kept at a healthy and constant temperature 
of about 60° F. A system of examination and isolation of 
each dog admitted will ensure no chance contact between 
the sick and healthy, and a veterinary surgeon who 
specialises in canine practice and gives his whole time 
to dogs will go round his wards frequently and observe 
the progress and condition of his patients. Sunlight is 
one of the greatest enemies of all micro-organisms, and 
its adequate provision should pre-eminently occupy the 
minds of all who are entrusted with the building of ranges 



SOURCES OF INFECTION 55 

of kennels. Light and air are among the very few things 
obtainable gratis nowadays, yet their value should not 
be depreciated on that account, nor their supply limited. 

To Detect Distemper. — Laymen frequently ask, " How 
shall I know my dog has distemper?" For answer, I would 
counsel them to treat as distemper all catarrhal or other 
conditions, until the contrary has been proved. For 
instance, the symptoms of refusing food, showing in- 
difference or malaise, shivering, creeping near the fire 
and evincing a disposition to sleep, slight husky cough, 
the least nasal or eye discharge, diarrhceic tendency, or 
even a dry, hot nose, would collectively or individually 
be sufficient ground for suspecting the onset of dis- 
temper. Having recognised some such disturbance in 
the dog's health, the common mistake of waiting for the 
advent of further and more pronounced diagnostic 
symptoms should be avoided, and the animal immediately 
placed in quiet seclusion. A "wait and see" policy in 
these cases is fatal. 

Infective Matter and its Source. — It must be borne in 
mind that the virulent contagium is to be found" in the 
watery nasal or lachrymal discharge and respiratory 
mucus, particularly in the early stages. Although it has 
been demonstrated also in the blood, spleen, kidneys, 
liver, cerebro-spinal fluid, etc., these are unlikely to have 
any connection with the spread of infection. There remain 
as the only other possible sources — the faeces, urine, and 
pustular contents ; but the latter have never revealed any 
agent which would set up typical distemper, and appar- 
ently no observer has recorded the discovery of any 
important organism in the urine. 

In one of Ferry's reports he stated that recent findings 
had proved conclusively that the symptom of diarrhoea is 
one of the most important, as the B. bronchisepticus may 
be found in large numbers in the earl}?^ intestinal dis- 



56 CANINE DISTEMPER 

charges, and the spread of the disease is probably due 
more to these discharges than to the pus from the eyes 
and nose. If Ferry's organism can be accepted as the 
causal one, it would follow that the clinical thermometer 
may well be condemned as a means of contamination. 
Konhauser, whose inoculation experiments had a nega- 
tive result, is of opinion that the contagium is also in 
the milk of bitches suffering from distemper ; but no 
other investigator has confirmed this, and its truth 
seems open to considerable doubt. 

Resistance of the Contagium to Cold and Heat, etc. — 
Experimental evidence shows that the contagium is not 
destroyed by desiccation, although its virulence is con- 
siderably attenuated after being kept in a dry condition 
for several months. Freezing, even to as low a tempera- 
ture as -4° F., does not kill it, but a temperature of 60° C. 
renders it sterile. Laosson found that nasal discharge 
exposed to the open air loses its virulence in from eight 
to twenty days. 

Disinfection. — It would appear highly desirable in a 
work of this nature to indicate the various types of disin- 
fectants, their mode of action, and suitable choice for the 
object in view, since the prevention and cure of distemper 
from beginning to end consists of nothing less than an 
organised fight against bacterial life. A detailed descrip- 
tion of the agents used and methods employed will be 
found in Appendix II. 

PERIOD OF INCUBATION 

The stage of incubation of distemper appears to be 
very variable, and is undoubtedly influenced by several 
considerations, such as the virulence of the causal 
organism, constitution of the animal, prevailing weather 
conditions, etc. A large number of views have been 
expressed based on observations following both experi- 



SOURCES OF INFECTION 57 

mental inoculation and infection by cohabitation, the 
date of exposure to infection being known in every case, 
and the consensus of opinion computes the average 
period at 4 to 7 days. The earliest appearance of 
symptoms has been placed at 3 days, and the longest at 
3 weeks (Hobday), whilst many other authorities have 
recorded intervening periods, such as 5 to 8 days 
(Trasbot), 12 to 15 days (Nocard and Leclainche). 
Krajewski found the period of incubation was 4 to 
7 days, but he states that cases of infection through 
cohabitation may sometimes take from 2 to 2| weeks to 
develop. These protracted periods, however, are rare, 
and personally I would expect to discover the earliest 
symptom about a week after a susceptible dog had been 
exposed to the disease. 



CHAPTER VII 

PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 

When resistance to an infection is a natural inborn 
quality, we speak of it as natural immunity ; but it is 
possible to evoke an acquired immunity by means of 
inoculation with an organism or its derivatives, just as 
an ordinary attack of infectious disease confers a certain 
degree of acquired immunity. Active immunity may be 
set up by one or more of the organisms concerned in 
attenuated condition, or by sub-lethal doses of virulent 
organisms or their toxins, or by inoculations of dead 
microbes and their products, or even of their products 
alone. As gradually increasing amounts are injected, 
the animal will develop a high degree of resistance. 
This procedure constitutes preventive inoculation or 
vaccination. 

Immunity is, however, not immediately created, the 
time elapsing being governed by the susceptibility of 
the animal and the dose and virulence of the vaccine. 
Though it is comparatively a slow process, the active 
immunity evoked lasts a considerable time. 

In passive immunity protection depends upon the intro- 
duction of substances developed in some other animal, 
and it has a rapidly produced but transient effect. 
When an animal has been hyper -immunised with 
increasing doses of vaccine as just described, its blood 
serum will contain substances which have an antago- 
nistic or neutralising action on the specific bacteria or 
their toxins, and such a serum will be of value for the 
prevention or cure of certain infections in another 
animal. A notable example is anti-tetanus serum. 

58 



PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 59 

Theory of Immunity.— Wright's "opsonic" theory of 
immunity, briefly outlined, is to the effect that there is 
a substance (opsonin) present in the serum of an immune 
animal which, when introduced into another animal 
affected or likely to be affected with the disease against 
which the first animal is protected, renders the corre- 
sponding germ sensitive to phagocytosis — i.e., peculiarly 
liable to attack and destruction by the white blood-cells. 
Thus the opsonic qualities of the serum constitute the 
means by which the body frees itself from the invading 
organisms. The occurrence of a low opsonic index is 
due to the using up of available opsonin, and the object 
of a vaccination is to supply this deficiency by stimu- 
lating the mechanism for its production, and this is the 
immediate effect of the first injection ; but a reaction 
then occurs, normally lasting a day or two, in which the 
amount of opsonin is actually lower than it was in the 
beginning. This is called the negative phase, during 
which the system becomes more susceptible to disease. 
When the vaccination is successful, this phase is followed 
by a rise in the opsonic value to a higher level than that 
existent at the time of infection. This is known as the 
positive phase, and the body has become more resistant to 
microbial invasion. Sometimes the positive phase is 
quickly and easily obtained, but at others there is a pro- 
longation of the negative phase, and should a second 
dose of vaccine be then administered, there is a danger 
of inducing symptoms of the disease to manifest 
themselves. 

In the earlier days it was the practice to inject attenu- 
ated living cultures of organisms into the animal to be 
protected, but now it has been found safer and more 
convenient to use dead cultures, at least at the com- 
mencement; in both the principle is the same, and both 
cultures are spoken of as vaccines. 



60 CANINE DISTEMPER 

Age at which to Vaccinate,— When our object in 
vaccinating dogs against distemper is one of prevention 
and not cure, we need to carry it out as early as possible, 
in order that the risk of natural infection before the opera- 
tion may be diminished. On the other hand, it is highly 
desirable that the pup should have been weaned, and 
become accustomed to its ordinary food and hardened 
somewhat to its new life. Thus the suitable age would 
appear to be seven or eight weeks, though there is no 
reason why it should not be attempted later in life, 
except the increasing danger of infection prior to inocu- 
lation; for it is well known that if a latent infection 
exists when vaccination is performed, the addition of 
a little more toxin to an already contaminated system 
might overpower the existing defensive forces, and 
perhaps cause a very alarming disturbance. 

The puppy, having received its series of two or three 
injections, should be isolated for a full fortnight to 
permit of immunity becoming firmly established, and 
certainly should have been excluded from all possible 
sources of contagion during the whole period of his 
treatment. No doubt unfortunate sequelae have often 
attended the exposure of a puppy to infection too soon 
after inoculation ; even exposure to chills or fatigue 
would render the animal more liable to contagion by the 
temporary lowering of vitality produced. 

Further, to obviate accidents, it is advisable, in cases 
where the dog is known to have been exposed to the 
contagium of distemper, to give a dose of immune serum 
before, or along with, each prophylactic dose of vaccine, 
to produce an immediate passive immunity. Previous 
inoculation with serum enables all animals, even those 
which are in a state of latent infection, to receive vaccine 
without any danger. 

In fact, this method might well be adopted as a routine 



PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 61 

in every instance, and would doubtless reduce to a 
minimum those regrettable occurrences too frequently 
experienced in the past when vaccine has been used alone. 
With the provision of a regular nutritious diet, warmth, 
and cleanliness, all will have been done that is possible 
to ensure one's efforts being attended with success. 

Reactions during- Vaccination.— These may be severe 
or altogether absent : they may be manifested merely by 
a local reaction, or the general health may be disturbed. 
Where there is a moderately severe swelling at the seat 
of inoculation, the animal is often rendered stiff or even 
lame, and exhibits perhaps some degree of pyrexia and 
inappetence. In other cases alarming symptoms are 
evinced, simulating those of the disease it is sought to 
prevent, and the animal may even die. In the majority 
of instances, however, the train of symptoms is usually 
no worse than loss of appetite, dullness, general malaise, 
loss of condition, rise of temperature to 102° F. or 
103° F., followed in about seven days by complete 
recovery. 

Most authorities appear to be agreed that the greater 
the severity of the general reaction the more lasting the 
immunity conferred, and where negative results have 
attended vaccination, the cause has often been ascribed to 
the failure to produce a suitable typical reaction. 

In the discovery of a prophylactic or curative vaccine 
or serum lies the only hope of salvation for the canine 
race against the dread scourge of distemper, and the 
bacteriologist who can accomplish this will deservedly 
become famous in the annals of veterinary science. The 
first step will naturally be the fixation, beyond a shadow 
of doubt, of the causal agent, after which the creation of 
a preventive vaccine could be entertained with a more 
reasonable assurance of success ; but in any case the 
desired end will prove extremely difficult to attain, in 



62 CANINE DISTEMPER 

view of the fact that even a naturally contracted attack 
does not in all cases confer an active immunity. 

PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 

I. With Vaccine Lymph. — As early as 1795, Viborg, 
attaching great importance to the pustular lesions of 
distemper, advocated vaccination with cow-pox virus, 
which procedure was tried on various later dates by 
other -investigators, and renounced as ineffectual. 
Notwithstanding this. Dr. W. Brown, writing in the 
Veterinary Journal (November, 1902), observed: "For a 
number of years I inoculated all the puppies at Drum- 
pellier House, Coatbridge, with vaccine lymph, and with 
the best results. During my time I never heard of a 
case of distemper arising after inoculation. This was 
done at the request of Sir David Carrick Buchanan, who 
was a profound believer in the efficacy of the above 
treatment. I usually inoculated behind the ear, and no 
ill results seemed to follow." His observations, however, 
have met with no support whatever, and such men as 
W. Sewell, Blaine, and Youatt before him, and A. Sewell, 
Hobday, and others after him, have expressed no un- 
certain opinions regarding the utter uselessness of 
vaccine lymph. 

2. With Crude Nasal Discharge.— Another early method 
was the inoculation of susceptible animals with the crude 
nasal discharge from a distempered dog, with the object 
of inducing a mild attack and its subsequent immunity. 
Unfortunately, however— as might be expected— a large 
majority contracted a more malignant type of the disease 
and frequently succumbed, so that the method was 
eventually abandoned. 

3. With Pure Cultures of Bacilli.— Investigations were 
pursued, and Semmer, in 1875, was the first to discover 
micro-organisms in connection with distemper. He 



PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 63 

isolated a micrococcus and a short, slender bacillus from 
the blood and lungs, and as the bacillus was also plentiful 
in the spleen, liver, and kidneys, he concluded it was the 
causal organism. In succeeding years, numerous other 
authorities discovered bacillary or coccal organisms in 
various parts of the body, and each considered his own 
germ as the primary cause of the disease. All endeavoured 
to obtain pure cultures with which to reproduce the 
typical disease, and most were successful; but when 
they attempted to confer a lasting immunity, they un- 
happily failed, though they sometimes claimed to have 
succeeded. 

4. With a Dead Culture— Copeman's Vaccine. — We arrive 
now at the year 1900, in which Dr. Monckton Copeman 
described in a paper read before the Royal Society how, 
by heating a broth culture of the bacillus (isolated first 
by his confrere Millais twelve years previously, and 
regarded as the causal organism) to 60° C. for half an 
hour, and subsequently adding a small quantity of carbolic 
acid as a preservative, a vaccine was obtained which 
acted in a similar fashion to those devised by Haff kine 
and Wright for use in prevention of plague and enteric 
fever, respectively, in man. The dose must obviously 
vary according to the size of the dog, but generally a 
fox-terrier puppy would receive 2 c.c. of the sterilised 
culture. 

Evidence Supporting the Efficacy or Failure of Copeman s 
Vaccine. — Dr. Copeman writes personally : " Curiously 
enough, wide divergences of opinion have been expressed 
by those who have made trial of the preparation intro- 
duced by myself. On the Continent, and more particu- 
larly in Germany, hundreds of doses have been employed 
with, as I am informed, most gratifying results ; but in 
this country I have had the utmost difficulty in obtaining 
reports. From a member of my own profession, not a 



64 CANINE DISTEMPER 

little to my astonishment, I learnt that he had feared 
after all to use the vaccine, lest it should actually cause 
an outbreak of distemper among his dogs, notwithstand- 
ing the fact that in my communication to the -Royal 
Society I was careful to describe the exact method by 
which my prophylactic is produced, showing that 
sterilisation of the fluid and the consequent killing of 
all living micro-organisms is an essential factor of the 
process. It is doubtless true that any protective influ- 
ence against distemper which the vaccine is capable of 
affording is due to the fact that its inoculation gives rise 
to what is practically a mild attack of the disorder, but 
with this most important difference from the natural 
disease — that owing to the method of the preparation of 
the vaccine it is absolutely impossible for an inoculated 
dog to infect with distemper other dogs with which it 
may come into contact. I provided Mr. Sewell with 
material for testing purposes, but he did not succeed in 
producing in puppies by its use any marked immunity. 

" On looking over the temperature charts of the animals 
inoculated by him, it is apparent that in no instance did 
any reaction follow, marked as it would have been by 
some rise of temperature, and that therefore little or no 
immunity could be expected to ensue. 

" In carrying out inoculations, it is obviously essential 
that a sufficient dose should be employed if any measure 
of success is to be obtained. Herr Carl Hopf, in a letter 
to me, rightly lays stress upon this point, stating that 
whereas all the vaccinations performed by himself had 
proved successful, notwithstanding prolonged exposure 
of the inoculated animals to the infection of distemper, 
on making inquiry as to certain alleged failures reported 
to him he found that only about i c.c. of the vaccine had 
been injected in each instance. In conclusion, I would 
suggest that where the first injection is followed by no 



PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 65 

obvious reaction, the operation should be repeated after 
the lapse of a fortnight or three weeks. In this case a 
double dose of vaccine should be used, and as a matter 
of precaution the second injection should not be made 
at the same place as the first." 

Twelve months later, however, Mr. Sewell repeated 
his experiments with Copeman's vaccine, but unfortu- 
nately fared no better than upon his first attempt. Messrs. 
Hobday and Ridler, F. and M.R.C.V.S., carried out an 
observation, in which six fox-terrier puppies were vac- 
cinated, two of them with Copeman's product, and the 
results were as follows : 

Case i. — March 23, 3 p.m. : Fox-terrier, male, three 
months old, fair condition ; vaccinated with 45 minims 
subcutaneously in the thigh. Temperature, 102° F. 

9 p.m. : Very dull, back arched, as if in pain, and cold. 
Temperature, i02"4° F. 

March 24: No appetite; very tucked up flank, stiff, 
and disinclined to move. Weight, 3 lbs. 12 ozs. Tem- 
perature, 103° F. at 7 a.m. and i02'6° F. at 7 p.m. 

March 25 : Found dead at 6.30 a.m. 

Weight of carcase, 3 lbs. 9 ozs. 

Case 2. — March 23, 3 p.m. : Fox-terrier, female, three 
months old, good condition ; vaccinated by injecting 
30 minims subcutaneously inside the thigh. Tempera- 
ture, 102-4° F. 

9 p.m. : Very dull, back arched, off feed, and not in- 
clined to move. Temperature, 104° F. 

March 24 : Evidently very ill. Weight, 4f lbs. Tem- 
perature, 102° F. Swelling at seat of vaccination. 

March 25 : Drank a little milk ; very lame, and looked 
very ill. Temperature at 7 a.m., 102° F., and at 6 p.m., 
103-4° F. Swelling at seat of vaccination. 

March 26: Large wound inside thigh, quite i-^ inches 
long, where sweUing had burst. Animal went about on 
three legs. Temperature, 105° F. 

From this date the dog seemed better, gradually 
acquired use of her legs, and regained her appetite ; 

S 



66 CANINE DISTEMPER 

temperature became normal, and wound healed. It 
required careful attention until July, and even then was 
very thin, coughing, and showing signs of the severe 
illness it had gone through ; and, as Mr. Hobday aptly 
remarks : " It makes one, as a practitioner, very careful 
about giving an emphatic opinion to a nervous client in 
favour of vaccination as a prophylactic, and an owner 
will wonder whether the risk is the greater from the 
remedy or from the disease itself." 

Nevertheless, in my opinion, had these vaccinations 
been preceded by a dose of anti-distemper serum, these 
grave disturbances would not have been manifested. 

Mr. F. B. Carrell, writing in The Kennel, April, 191 1, 
said : " I have inoculated my dogs with Dr. Copeman's 
anti-distemper vaccine for nearly five years, and I think 
if I write my experiences, it may be of assistance to the 
dog-loving public in helping to arrest the appalling mor- 
tality from distemper in present-day dogs. ... A friend 
told me of Dr. Copeman's vaccine, and he had two 
months before inoculated two smooth collie pups, aged 
five months. At the time a few miles away was a 
kennel of griffons, all affected with distemper, and many 
were dying. To find the worth of the vaccine the 
nostrils of the two vaccinated puppies were pushed 
against those of the diseased griffons, and some of the 
mucus from the eyes and noses of the latter was in- 
serted into the nostrils of the inoculated collie pups and 
plugged with cotton-wool. One collie was not affected 
at all, temperature normal, appetite good ; in fact, per- 
fectly healthy. The temperature of the other collie rose 
to 103° F., appetite capricious, and puppy rather irritable. 
This lasted about a week, after which he became per- 
fectly normal. Both these puppies were afterwards 
exhibited all over England, and neither has shown any 
further sign of distemper. ... My next litter of puppies 
was inoculated at the age of four months. Three pups 
of the four had a good reaction, by which I mean that at 
the end of three or four days the temperatures rose to 
103° F., and remained so for about ten days, the patients 
being irritable and feeding indifferently. The remaining 



PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 67 

pup had no reaction ; consequently, at the end of three 
weeks, I again injected a larger dose, which reacted only 
very slightly. 

" Some six months later 1 bought (unwittingly) a bitch 
with distemper, and she ran at exercise with the before- 
mentioned puppies. All these took distemper, but were 
only slightly ill for about a week (discharge from eyes 
and nose, slight cough, slight diarrhoea, temperatures 
from 102° to 103° F.), but at the end of the week were 
perfectly well again. The whole of that litter is alive 
now ; all have been exhibited, and two are frequently at 
shows, yet none have ever had any further signs of dis- 
temper, and I have several times had distemper dogs in 
the kennels. 

" I think, therefore, in showing that in my own kennels, 
in the first five years of breeding, without inoculation, the 
mortality from distemper was at the rate of over 50 per 
cent., whereas in the last five years, with inoculation, the 
mortality is only 2 per cent., there is very little room 
for doubt that we must look to inoculation to help us 
against the scourge of the kennel-distemper." 

About this time Mr. Stewart Wood, M.R.C. V.S., testified 
to having inoculated sixty-nine dogs with Copeman's vac- 
cine during the past few years, the majority of which only 
received one injection. To his knowledge only five of 
them subsequently had distemper, of which two died. 
This, however, is no reliable or true test, as he does not 
state whether any of the dogs had already acquired an 
immunity, nor does he actually know whether any of the 
remaining inoculated dogs contracted the malady or not. 
The most recent testimonial which has come into my 
hands by the courtesy of Dr. Copeman is a letter received 
by the Jenner Institute in October, 1920, from His Grace 
the Duke of Beaufort. It runs as follows : " The Duke 
of Beaufort, on the recommendation of Dr. Monckton 
Copeman, inoculated his entry of \Z\ couples as they 
came in from 'walk' last spring (two inoculations), and 
up to the present time they have shown no symptoms of 



68 CANINE DISTEMPER 

distemper. The young hounds were also inoculated 
(half dose), and so far no deaths from distemper have 
been reported. The Duke hopes he may be equally 
successful this year." 

An extract from a further letter from Mr. T. Newman, 
huntsman to His Grace the Duke of Beaufort, reads : 
" As soon as the hounds were brought in from ' walk,' 
they were isolated, fasted for about twelve hours, and 
given a gentle dose of castor-oil, and then temperatures 
taken, to make certain they were in a fit state to inocu- 
late. Then they received 7 c.c. of vaccine. Took their 
temperatures for three days to make sure of the reaction, 
which in most cases sent their temperatures up from 
102° F. to as high as 104° F. ; kept them still in isolation 
for a period of ten days from the first inoculation, then 
did them again with 10 cc, taking their temperatures 
for three days. I find that in the majority of cases it 
reacts the second time. Then I put them together. Out 
of the 23J couples that were inoculated, only about one 
couple have shown any signs of distemper, and then 
only in a mild form. If we go on with the same results 
as this year, it will be the greatest boon that has ever 
been brought out." 

Further testimony as to the value of Copeman's 
vaccine was also given by Karl Hopf, the well-known 
St. Bernard breeder, in a letter to The Dog World ; but 
it is phrased in similar terms to the other letters, and 
on that account, perhaps, need not be recapitulated. 
M'Gowan, on the other hand, obtained no definitely 
good results with the use of prophylactic vaccines, 
though he considers they may prevent toxic phenomena. 

Ferry's Polyvalent Polymicrobial Vaccine. — The very 
latest production is the vaccine introduced by Ferry — 
an American veterinary surgeon, who, as I have fully 
described under " Etiology," discovered B. bronchisepticus, 



PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 69 

which he and several other workers are positive is the 
specific causal organism. With several strains of this 
microbe, a vaccine was made and experiments carried 
out to test its immunising properties on a large number 
of dogs, and in a few instances on other animals, such as 
the Canadian lynx, sea lion, fox, etc. Forty dogs were 
used in all, nine being immunised with live cultures 
and seventeen with dead cultures, while fourteen were 
saved as controls. All of these dogs were exposed to at 
least three animals suffering with typical symptoms of 
distemper, including the respiratory, abdominal, and 
nervous types. 

Eight of the controls died, while all the immunised 
dogs remained well. To substantiate further the position 
given to B. bronchisepticus. Ferry, and also Torrey and 
Rahe {Jour. Med. Res., vol. xxvii., 1913), carried on a 
relatively large number of prophylactic inoculations with 
■ suspensions of the dead organisms, and found in a large 
percentage of cases that a true protection had been 
established in the inoculated dogs, and that the controls 
in practically all cases rapidly succumbed to the ravages 
of the disease. 

Ferry wrote in 191 3 : " From a practical standpoint, we 
have found these protective inoculations of very great 
value, as from the nature of work carried on in our 
laboratory it is necessary to use from fifteen to twenty 
dogs a week for one purpose or another, and it has 
always been our experience to lose nearly all of the young 
ones with distemper. , Since beginning to give some of 
these dogs protecting inoculations as soon as they are 
received from the dog pound our experience is just 
reversed and we are able to save a large number of 
them. This is not only a great help as far as the experi- 
ments are concerned, but a great saving from a monetary 
point of view, and incidentally corroborates our previous 



70 CANINE DISTEMPER 

results. All of these dogs are exposed to infection before 
being brought to the laboratory, and many of them have 
already contracted the disease, so that the fact that we 
are able to save so many speaks well for the value of the 
inoculations." 

The experiments on the wild animals were said to be very favourable, 
and apparently corroborated the work previously carried on with dogs 
from the dog pound. Ferry was surprised to learn that the vaccine 
seemed to produce marked beneficial results in other animals, and the 
striking results convinced him that the B. bronchisepticus would probably 
be found in other species of animals. 

The bacterin is now issued in two forms : (i) As a sus- 
pension of the killed organisms in normal saline solution, 
and (2) in a dry state as hypodermic tablets. 

Composition of Ferry s Vaccine. — It is. prepared not only 
from several strains of B. bronchisepticus (6 parts), but 
with an admixture of those other organisms which are so 
constantly found complicating the primary infection — 
namely. Staphylococcus pyogenes albus (i part), St.py. aureus 
(i part) and Streptococcus pyogenes (2 parts). 

The suspensions of the dead organisms are diluted to 
a standard strength, and these so combined that the 
resulting- mixture contains the desired number of organ- 
isms per cubic centimetre — namely, 1,000 million. The 
product is preserved with o'2 per cent, cresol. In the 
preparation of the tablets, the bacterial suspensions are 
dried, and the organisms then combined with a suitable 
tablet base, so that each tablet will contain 500 miUions. 

Therapeutic Indications. — This bacterin* is indicated as 
a prophylactic and curative agent in all forms or types of 
canine distemper and sequelae. Preventive treatment 

* Wherever the term "bacterin " is employed, it needs to be carefully 
borne in mind that a distinction was made between a vaccine and a 
bacterin by the United States Bureau of Animal Industry, which laid 
down the ruling that in veterinary medicine all preparations which con- 
tain living organisms, whether attenuated or not, shall be termed 
"vaccines," and all suspensions of dead organisms shall be denominated 



PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 71 

should be started early enough to allow the full course of 
injections to be completed a week or ten days before 
probable exposure, as in the case of dogs to be taken to a 
show. When used as a curative agent, the bacterin 
treatment should be started as early in the disease as 
possible, and it is strongly recommended that anti-dis- 
temper serum should be given in addition. In no case 
should the appropriate medicinal, dietetic, and hygienic 
treatment be neglected. 

Directions for Use. — Either the liquid or a solution made 
by dissolving one or more of the tablets in sterile water 
is injected subcutaneously by means of a previously 
sterilised hypodermic syringe. Before withdrawing the 
bacterin from the vial, the surface of the rubber cap 
should be wiped over with a germicidal solution. It 
may prove easier to fill the syringe if the piston is with- 
drawn part way before puncturing the cap ; if it is de&ired 
to withdraw i c.c, pull the plunger back slightly past the 
I c.c. mark. The air in the syringe should be fqrced 
gently into the vial, but not with so much pressure as to 
loosen the cap. By thus increasing the pressure in the 
bottle, it will be found that the syringe fills very readil};-, 
there being no partial vacuum to overcome. The punc- 
ture made by the needle is self-sealing, and if the instru- 
ment is sterile, the contents remaining in the vial will 
not be contaminated. 

Dosage. — One tablet containing 500 million killed or- 
ganisms is equivalent to 0*5 c.c. of the liquid bacterin. 
For the initial prophylactic dose, 1,000 million organisms 
(i c.c. of liquid) is considered safe for a 20-lb. dog. For 
smaller or larger dogs, the dose must be decreased or 

" bacterins." Thus, Ferry's preparation will be called one or the other 
according as whether we think in English or American terms. Being a 
suspension of dead organisms, it may well be alluded to as a bacterin 
for the sake of convenience or distinction. 



72 



CANINE DISTEMPER 



increased accordingly, allowing i c.c. for each 20 lbs. of 
weight. It is probable, however, that this dosage is too 
small, and just recently Ferry has definitely recom- 
mended an increase* (see letter on p. 75). Injections 
may be made at three to four day intervals, increasing 
each dose according to the condition of the patient. 
Curative treatment should be pushed more gradually 
than the prophylactic treatment as a general rule. 

A suggested schedule of dosage for a 20-lb. dog is as 
follows : 



Of Mixed Bacterin. 


As Prophylactic. 


As Curative. 


First dose 

Second dose 

Third dose 


Liquid. Tablets. 

i-o c.c. or 2 

I'S C.C. „ 3 
2-S C.C. „ 5 


Liquid. Tablets. 

0-25 C.C. or J 

O'S C.C. „ I 
I'O C.C. „ 2 



increasing the curative doses by 0-5 c.c. or one tablet. 
Half the above doses should be given to small dogs and 
puppies, and the latter should receive further doses 
six months later. With each prophylactic dose of the 
bacterin it is advantageous to give 5 c.c. of anti-distemper 
serum, as this supplies immunising bodies similar to 
those found in the blood of a dog that has safely re- 
covered from distemper. If it is definitely known that 
the dog has been exposed to infection, it is essential 
to give 10 c.c. of the serum with each dose of bacterin. 

Reaction to the Bacterin.— A certain degree of reaction 
may follow the injection, or a sick dog may appear to be 
worse and the symptoms more pronounced This re- 
action or "negative phase" should not cause alarm or 
the discontinuance of treatment ; it is an indication that 
the animal organism is responding to the treatment. If 

* An intimation has just been received from Detroit that the Canine 
Distemper Mixed Bacterin is being made four limes the strength of 
that now being supplied, and the doses will be reduced to half, the net 
result being doses double the present strength. 



PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 73 

the reaction is very severe, however, it may be well not 
to increase the size of the dose, but to continue the last 
or even a lesser dose until only a moderate reaction 
is produced, when the ascending scale may be again 
resorted to. 

Evidence upon the Efficacy or Otherwise of Ferris Bacterin. 
— In addition to the observations of Ferry, Torrey, and 
Rahe quoted above, several veterinary practitioners have 
written expressing their appreciation of this vaccine and 
the encouraging results obtained with it. Mr. Stans- 
field, of Rawtenstall, the well-known breeder of collies, 
writes : " 1 have not had a single case of distemper in 
my kennels during 191 5 and 1916. Several puppies 
I inoculated with your vaccine have been frequently 
exhibited, including 'Laund Laureate,' who won the 
Challenge Certificate at the Richmond Show, and up 
to now have proved immune to distemper." 

My own experiences, however, have been variable, and 
on the whole fairly successful. Out of seven dogs which 
I inoculated with Ferry's bacterin at different periods, 
not as an experiment, but to satisfy the desires of clients 
and friends, the results were as follows : 

Case i. — Collie puppy, 2^ months old. Gave three 
inoculations at the usual prescribed intervals, and ob- 
tained slight reactions each time — i.e., malaise, inappe- 
tence, rise of temperature to 103° F. Was informed 
about four months later that the dog was sick with dis- 
temper, and after an illness of nearly three weeks it died. 

Case 2.— Collie puppy, 2| months old. Same pro- 
cedure as No. I. Reaction more marked. No history of 
subsequent naturally contracted disease. 

Case 3.— Airedale puppy, 4 months old. Same pro- 
cedure followed as laid down in the directions on pre- 
ceding pages. Good reaction obtained with the first 
dose, but not with the second or third. Dog was 
poorly for about a week, an occasional cough being- 
noticed and slight diarrhoea ; then became normal, and 



74 CANINE DISTEMPER 

up to this day has not been a subject of distemper. 
Dog now three years old. 

Case 4. — Fox-terrier, 6 months old. 

Case 5.— Fox-terrier, 2 months old. In both these 
cases only shght disturbance of health was noticed, and 
after a suitable period of isolation they were returned to 
their owners. I heard nothing more of them, and pre- 
sume if they had caught distemper I should have been 
notified. 

Case 6.— Pekingese, 3 months old. In this case the 
reaction was mostly confined to the seat of inoculation, 
as a painful swelling appeared about twelve hours after 
injection, but subsided without bursting before three 
days had elapsed. The dog was disinclined to feed 
during this period, but gradually regained its normal 
health. Some months later I was requested to attend it, 
and found it suffering from unmistakable distemper, with 
which it was seriously ill for more than four weeks, and 
was saved only with great difficulty. 

Case 7. — Irish terrier, about 5 months old. There 
was practically no disturbance of health following the 
injections, and I never was acquainted with any occur- 
rence of illness in after years, although I knew the dog 
up to the age of quite four years. 

These few observations cannot be regarded as a 
reliable proof of the efficacy of the bacterin, as the 
dogs' previous and subsequent histories were somewhat 
obscure ; though it may be noted that in no case did any 
untoward result follow the inoculations, and that in 
Cases I and 6 no immunity was conferred. In each case 
the dog had not previously suffered with distemper so 
far as the owner could say, and although it might be 
unfair to presume that one or all of them had already 
acquired an immunity, yet the possibility of such a con- 
tingency must not be lost sight of. From these few 
cases I drew rather favourable deductions, and shall at 
least pursue the use of this prophylactic in practice on 
every possible occasion, as it seems to show promise 



PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 75 

On the other hand, it must be recorded in contradiction 
to the favourable views so far expressed that those prac- 
titioners with whom I have discussed the matter have 
mostly been sceptical and antagonistic to the use of any 
anti-distemper vaccines, dubbing them all as uncertain 
in their action, and sometimes even dangerous. 

Based on the results of the experiments of these 
previously mentioned observers, bacterins containing 
B. bronchisepHcus are now listed by several reputable 
commercial houses. As regards the " preventive " use 
of the prepar^ation, failures may be explained on the 
ground that it is still practically in the experimental 
stage, and there seems reason to believe that improved 
methods of preparation, as well as a more satisfactory 
technique of administration, will ensure better results in 
the future. 

Often the dogs are exposed too soon after treatment, 
and as their resistance has been lowered as a result of 
the introduction of antigen, they are more liable to 
infection than a normal dog under the same conditions. 
Perhaps in some cases the doses are too large, and in 
others too small ; these questions can only be answered 
by experience. In Ferry's last letter to me he said : 
" As regards the efficacy of the vaccine as a prophylactic 
agent we have practically come to the conclusion that 
our dose is altogether too small, and that is the reason 
more favourable results have not been obtained. As 
pioneers in this line, perhaps we have been too con- 
servative. We have carried on enough well-controlled 
experiments to know that a vaccine composed of 
B. bronchiseptieus will protect against distemper, and we 
have had numerous reports from outside to that same 
effect ; but we feel that the vaccine has not been doing 
itself justice, and that larger doses will improve it. To 
condemn the specificity of the organism on an unfavour- 



76 CANINE DISTEMPER 

able showing of the vaccine may lead to serious results, 
and is unfair to the organism. It was years before 
typhoid vaccine made a proper showing, and yet the 
typhoid bacillus was still considered the cause of typhoid 
fever." 

When using the vaccine for therapeutic purposes, it 
must be remembered that by the time the case is first 
brought to the attention of the veterinary surgeon 
the condition is that of an acute general infection, 
complicated with severe secondary infections, in which 
case vaccines would have very little chance of pro- 
ducing beneficial results. In order to overcome this 
situation, an anti-distemper serum has been prepared, 
which offers more hope than vaccines for these acute 
conditions, and which bids fair entirely to replace them 
in the future as a curative agent. A serum for prophy- 
lactic purposes is of little value unless used simultane- 
ously with the vaccine. Serum may safely be given in 
any stage of the disease, the dose being 5 c.c. in mild 
cases, administered daily, and in severe cases the same 
amount twice dail3^ 

In general practice it would appear to be a decidedly 
safer procedure always to use an antiserum in conjunc- 
tion with a vaccine, particularly should the latter be pre- 
pared from living cultures. Similarly, while appreciating 
the greater possibility of obtaining a high degree of 
immunity with a living culture, for safety's sake, I deem 
the employment of a dead culture to be far preferable, 
since all risk of creating an outbreak of the disease is 
thereby eliminated. On the other hand, the immunity 
resulting from the inoculation of a dead culture is chiefly 
directed against the vital activity of the organisms — i.e., 
anti-bacterial rather than anti-toxic. 

Cultures when dead produce, of course, less effect than 
when living, and this method may be conveniently used 



PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 77 

in the initial stages of active immunisation — to be after- 
wards followed by injections of the living cultures. 
Ferry's vaccine should prove superior to others, if for no 
other reason than that it is polyvalent and polymicrobial, 
for the cocci contained may be expected to play an 
important role in protecting against the secondary com- 
plications with which they are so frequently proved to 
be associated. 

The whole question of preventive inoculation is so 
highly technical, and our present knowledge of it so 
uncertain — as applied to canine distemper — that I cannot 
close this section without deploring the fact that laymen 
and others insufficiently trained have access to these 
bacteriological products, and find it possible to experi- 
ment with animals unhindered; for without an inside 
knowledge of the work their conclusions can only mis- 
lead and further bewilder us. The trained pathologist 
and experienced practitioner are the only individuals 
who can adequately tackle the question with any hope of 
elucidating points about which we are still in the dark. 

5. With Attenuated Living Cultures — Chauveau's Vaccine. 
— At a meeting of the Academie des Sciences (reported 
in Veterinary Journal, 1901), M. Chauveau intimated that 
experiments had been made in his institute with the 
object of inoculating against distemper. He had, he said, 
by means of intravenous injection of microbes taken 
from the blood and organs of a guinea-pig which had 
died of acute septicaemia, produced a disease in dogs 
which was very like distemper. Believing he had ob- 
tained, if not the specific, at least a nearly related 
microbe, he had inoculated a lot of dogs against this 
microbe ; further, he had found in dogs suffering from 
distemper the same microbe with all its morphological 
and biological qualities. He succeeded in producing 
imrnunity in the dog by subcutaneous injection of cul- 



78 CANINE DISTEMPER 

tures. His patients resisted the natural as well as the 
experimental infection. 

Phisalix Vaccine. — About six months subsequent to 
the communication of Copeman's paper to the Royal 
Society, Dr. Phisalix announced to the Societe de Mede- 
cine Veterinaire Pratique in Paris, that he had isolated 
the specific microbe of distemper, and that by inoculating 
with it in cultures of increasing virulence he had suc- 
ceeded in rendering dogs immune against the disease. 
As regards the isolation of the specific microbe, how- 
ever, he acknowledged his anticipation by M. Lignieres, 
stating his belief that the ovoid bacterium discovered by 
Lignieres, and named by him Pasteurella canina, was 
identical with the cocco-bacillus which he believed to be 
the causative agent of distemper. According to Dr. 
Phisalix, Professor Lignieres contented himself with the 
isolation of the micro-organism, and the demonstration of 
its capability, when injected in pure culture, of reproduc- 
ing in the dog all the classical features of distemper, the 
results obtained varying in accordance with the virulence 
of the culture, the dose employed, and the manner of 
inoculation — whether subcutaneous, intravenous, or intra- 
peritoneal; but he did not apparently carry out any 
investigations as to the possibility of employing a culture 
of the micro-organism, living or dead, or its products, or 
both combined, for the purpose of protecting dogs against 
subsequent invasion of the natural disease. This, how- 
ever, Dr. Phisalix claimed to have done, and he put on 
record certain statistics showing the results of the vacci- 
nations he carried out. 

Cultures were grown on an artificial medium of glyceri- 
nated broth, which were purposely attenuated by sub- 
cultivation or by age, and the potency of the vaccines 
obtained varied according to the degree of attenuation 
arrived at. Phisalix advocated using two vaccines differ- 



PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 79 

ing in strength, the first dose being 2 c.c. of a weak 
vaccine (for a two months old puppy) injected sub- 
cutaneously in the thigh ; this to be followed in about 
ten days by the second or stronger vaccine injected into 
the opposite thigh. 

Evidence For or Against the Efficacy of Phisalix Vaccine. 
— He showed that of 298 dogs which had been vaccinated, 
thirteen died. In two packs of hounds aggregating 120 
animals, in which prior to vaccination the mortality had 
been computed at 50 per cent, he stated that no case of 
distemper occurred after his prophylactic treatment. 

Mr. Gray, M.R.C.V.S., said: "As far as my testing 
goes with Dr. Phisalix's anti-distemper vaccine — which 
was carried out at the suggestion of Mr. William Hunting, 
F.R.C.V.S. — I am satisfied that when properly used, 
according to the directions of Dr. Phisalix, it has great 
prophylactic properties." At a meeting of the Central 
Veterinary Society in 1905, Mr. Livesey, M.R.C.V.S., in 
discussing Gray's advocacy of Phisalix vaccine, was ex- 
ceedingly sceptical as to its efficacy, and would not 
believe that the Pastenrella was the cause of distemper. 
This practitioner has apparently not had cause to modify 
his views to this day, for he still emphatically pronounces 
against all vaccines as yet introduced for the suppression 
of distemper. At the same meeting Mr. Perryman, 
M.R.C.V.S., expressed himself as in disagreement with 
the general ideas of the success of Phisalix vaccine, 
and still thought a field was open for experimenters to 
find a vaccine for the immunisation of dogs against dis- 
temper. 

In the Veterinary Record for January, 1905, Mr. A. 
Spicer, F.R.C.V.S., related having inoculated eleven 
dogs with Phisalix vaccine and obtaining good reactions 
with each of two inoculations. Three of the dogs, after 
some months' interval, developed severe attacks of dis- 



80 CANINE DISTEMPER 

temper. Unfortunately no mention was made of the 
remaining eight, or whether any deaths occurred. 

Mr. A. Sewell, M.R.C.V.S., declared that injections of 
the vaccine of Dr. Phisalix gave in his hands no reaction 
in any instance, and did not afford any protection against 
distemper when the inoculated animals were afterwards 
brought into contact with a dog suffering from the disease. 
He gave details of fourteen cases, in some of which the 
vaccine was applied three times, but in practically every 
instance in which the history was followed up the dogs 
when placed in contact caught the disease, and a large 
percentage of them died. Nor did any appear to suffer 
less severely than one would have expected had they 
never been vaccinated. 

Finally, Professor Hobday cites seven cases in which, 
despite the most careful precautions to boil the syringe 
and thoroughly cleanse and asepticise the skin before 
vaccinating with the Phisalix preparation, he was unable 
to obtain any reaction beyond a slight and very tempo- 
rary swelling where the fluid was injected, and that 
dispersed within a few hours. No details were given 
of five of the dogs, as their histories were very uncertain, 
and although they had not been reported as having de- 
veloped distemper no evidence was forthcoming of any 
contact with contagion after return to their owners. 
The remaining two puppies both contracted the malady 
two months after inoculation, and one never recovered. 

Report of Committee on Phisalix Vaccine. — In consequence 
of the very contradictory statements of authorities on the 
efficacy of Phisalix vaccine, which led to public challenges, 
and finally to the formation of a committee of veterinary 
surgeons in 1903 to test its merits carefully, their 
conclusions, after about nine months of experimentation, 
were : 



PREVENTIVE INOCULATION 81 

" The committee consider the first experiment an entire 
failure, and the second inconclusive but suggestive. On 
the other hand, they regard the results of the third ex- 
periment as unimpeachable evidence that the vaccination 
failed to confer any immunity against distemper. . . . 
The net result of the experiment was that three of the 
four vaccinated pups died of distemper, while only two 
deaths occurred among the four unvaccinated pups." 

In face of all this adverse evidence, one must reluct- 
antly conclude that the material is valueless as a pre- 
ventive. 

Lignieres' Polyvalent Vaccine. — In an article on " Vac- 
cination against Distemper" printed in the Recueil de 
Medecine Veterinaire for July, 1903, Professor Lignieres 
detailed the preparation of his polyvalent vaccine. The 
Pasteurella canis is used, and a mixture of its various 
strains is grown on agar-agar, but in order safely to 
diminish their virulence several hundred subcultures 
are carried out. As with the Phisalix preparation, two 
vaccines are employed, the first being subjected to a 
temperature of 42° C. for five days, while the second 
and stronger one is subjected to a like temperature for 
only two days. The dose of either is i c.c. No better 
results, however, appear to have been obtained with this 
vaccine than with its predecessor, and it has not yet 
succeeded in establishing itself as a recognised prophy- 
lactic. 



CHAPTER VIII 

SYMPTOMS 

Distemper is such a variable disease that it seems 
almost impossible to describe any one symptom which 
would specifically characterise it ; thus, only when 
several of the classical phenomena are present in com- 
bination can the clinician pronounce with any genuine 
conviction that the animal is suffering from distemper. 

From the history of the case, age of the dog, and 
general appearances, however, he would no doubt 
formulate a very shrewd idea of the animal's complaint 
— even in the early stages — and would probably be 
perfectly justified and correct in diagnosing distemper. 

There are two conditions arising during or after an 
attack of distemper which, although they frequently do 
not manifest themselves, are very diagnostic of it when 
present, and these are the cutaneous eruption and chorea. 
Distemper is often insidious in its inception, and may 
cause such slight disturbance as to pass almost or 
entirely unnoticed, and a dog evincing nothing worse 
than an occasional sneeze or slight cough would be said 
to have "a cold." On such occasions, however, were a 
diligent search made for a causal organism, most prob- 
ably a pathologist would be able to demonstrate the 
B. bronchisepticus in the laryngeal or tracheal mucus. 

The disease may sometimes make a sudden appear- 
ance, and pursue an acute rapid course, with death as a 
not infrequent termination. 

The "typical " symptoms of distemper, to be enumerated 
in this chapter, are so described because they are so 
frequently observed in this disease ; however, they can 

82 



SYMPTOMS 83 

only become typical when several appear conjointly. 
For instance, a mere watery eye, or an ordinary cough, 
or perhaps diarrhoea, without the addition of one or 
more of the accepted pathological conditions of dis- 
temper, could each conceivably have a separate existence 
of its own, arising from causes widely distinct from those 
of the malady under consideration. 

In a large number of cases the nose and eye symptoms 
appear some days after the cough, and even may not 
appear at all ; in some other cases the dog dies of convul- 
sions within forty-eight hours, before any other serious 
secondary infection has had time to become manifest. 

Some authors are of opinion that broncho-pneumonia 
is largely responsible for the inception of nervous dis- 
orders ; but it is also a fact, as just stated, that dogs may 
be affected with, or even succumb to, these conditions 
before pneumonia or any other phenomena have come 
into existence. We must therefore look for their cause 
in the formation of a toxin which attacks the central 
nervous system, or in a spread of infection by the 
causal organism of distemper from the pharynx to the 
brain and its coverings. 

Classification of Distemper into Four Divisions. — Inasmuch 
as we know from clinical experience that distemper is 
peculiarly prone to manifest itself in some particular 
form in which many of the other well-known symptoms 
play no part, we can conveniently classify it for purposes 
of description into four main divisions, and place these 
in the order of their most usual preponderance and 
frequency: ' _^ ' 

I. Respiratory. 2. Intestinal. 

3. Nervous. 4. Exanthematous. 

G«ierally, however, several organs are simultaneously 
affected, although the outstanding features may be those 



84 CANINE DISTEMPER 

connected with any one of the above groups. All or 
any of these symptoms may be accompanied by discharge 
from the eyes and nose, or by either independently, and 
by emaciation, and sometimes these latter phenomena 
exist to the exclusion of most or all of the others ; thus, 
it will- be appreciated, we have to deal with a most 
uncertain disease. 

Premonitory Symptoms. — The premonitory symptoms 
are : A loss of appetite ; increased desire for sleep and 
warmth ; shivering ; staring coat ; unusual lassitude ; 
sometimes bad temper, and a hot, dry nose. The dog is 
less obedient to his master and takes less notice of him. 

The animal occasionally remains bright and apparently 
normal, the first untoward sign noticed by the owner 
being a slight cough, or efforts on the part of the dog 
to dislodge an imaginary obstruction from its throat. 
Perhaps none of these initial symptoms may be observed, 
but a watery discharge may appear from one or both 
eyes, or a small bead of indurated mucus may be present 
at the inner corners of the eyes first thing in the morning. 

The most usual train of symptoms (in the order in 
which they frequently occur) in a favourable case is : 
Inappetence, dry nose, temperature ioi° F., slight cough, 
nasal discharge, temperature 102° F., constipation, in- 
creased husky cough, slight diarrhoea, temperature 102° 
to 103° F., dullness, shivering, increased nasal discharge, 
eyes gummed up in the morning, and diarrhoea more 
profuse. Although food is refused, there is generally an 
insatiable thirst, when the only consolation to the dog 
seems to be the sight of a dish of water. In a large 
number of cases this completes the picture, unless more 
serious complications are going to set in, when we may 
later find our patiisnt in the throes of broncho-pneumonia, 
epilepsy, or great emaciation, with a higher temperature 
and increasing purulent discharges from the eyes and 



SYMPTOMS 85 

nostrils, these rapidly becoming caked about these organs, 
causing great mischief and inconvenience. Corneal 
ulcers may develop, the cough becomes incessant from 
extensive implication of the lungs and small bronchi, 
and the diarrhoea almost uncontrollable ; death then 
may ensue from pure weakness and exhaustion, or in 
convulsions. 

Uncomplicated Distemper. — There are no symptoms of 
the uncomplicated disease which can account for death, 
but in the sequelae there are many. Dogs never, or 
rather, rarely, die from simple distemper ; what carries 
them off is, as a rule, pneumonia or enteritis, and what 
renders them useless is chorea or paralysis. 

The benign cases of distemper are frequently so mild 
in character that one is hardly aware the dog has been 
ailing. Even where an observant owner detects abnor- 
mality, he often ascribes the cause to worms ; in fact, I 
feel sure that many puppies which have become subject 
to distemper fits — one of which has proved fatal — have 
been wrongly assumed to have died from intestinal 
parasitic affections, worms being so frequently found 
post-mortem. 

Complicating Symptoms. — Working on the assumption 
that the true uncomplicated nature of distemper is merely 
that of a generalised catarrh of mucous membranes, the 
full list of complications may be cited — in the order of 
their usual precedence — as follows : 

Bronchitis, gastritis, conjunctivitis, enteritis, pneu- 
monia, epilepsy, keratitis, ulcerated cornea, pleurisy, 
peritonitis, exanthema, suppurations, otitis, ophthalmia, 
icterus, balanitis, nephritis, and cystitis. 

Sequelce. — As sequelae, we see chorea, paralysis (partial 
or complete), amaurosis, cataract, leucoma, staphyloma, 
glaucoma, rickets, muscular atrophy, loss of hearing, 
scent, or voice, incontinence, and hydrocephalus. 



■SC V 



Temperature. 

fioro°F. ... 


Percentage 
of Cases. 

... in 65. 


1020° F. ... 


... „ 20. 


■ 103-0° F. ... 
1 1040° F. ... 


... „ 10. 

... ,, 5- 



86 CANINE DISTEMPER 

Temperature in Early Stages.— Before proceeding to 
describe the " typical " symptoms in detail, I may state 
that my observations regarding the temperature during 
the initial stages in a considerable number of cases have 
led me to assert definitely that it rarely exceeds 102-5° F. 
I estimate the percentage temperatures to be as follows : 



In initial stages 



I. Respiratory Symptoms— (i) I^htmiis.—Prohahly the 
primary affection of the respiratory tract is catarrh of the 
nasal mucous membrane, attended by a discharge which 
is serous at the outset, but may become muco-purulent 
and even purulent in nature. Sneezing and shaking the 
head are no doubt occasioned by a nasal pruritus, which 
also causes the dog to rub its nose on its paws or the 
hearthrug or other object. From records made, I place 
the percentage of cases in which nasal discharge is 
observed in distemper at about 65 per cent. 

Even as it is inconstant in appearance, it is also variable 
in amount. Where there is a very copious bilateral 
purulent secretion, there is usually an implication of 
the frontal and other sinuses, in which case the discharge 
may be expected to remain in evidence for a considerably 
protracted period, and render the dog a "carrier" of 
infection long after convalescence. 

Only rarely are these discharges hsemorrhagic in 
character, and then doubtless due to ulceration of the 
nasal septum. 

(2) Laryngitis. — The larynx is implicated very early in 
the disease, the inflammation of which organ gives rise 
at first to a hoarse dry or hard cough, and later to a 
paroxysmal moist choking cough in which masses of 



SYMPTOMS 87 

phlegm are brought into the mouth and evacuated or 
swallowed; vomiting sometimes accompanies the violent 
efforts to dislodge this phlegm. 

Gentle squeezing of the larynx from the outside will 
easily induce a fit of coughing; therefore, except for 
purposes of diagnosis, it should not be indulged in. It is 
not long before the catarrhal process extends down the 
trachea to the bronchi, and eventually to the bronchioles. 

(3) Bronchitis. — Bronchitis manifests itself by a slight 
respiratory acceleration, perhaps (but not constantly) an 
increased temperature, and rhonchial sounds on auscul- 
tation. If the small bronchi become implicated, resulting 
in a condition known as capillary bronchitis, there is a 
further frequency of respiratory movement, greater 
difficulty in getting breath, and an obstinacy on the part 
of the animal to move, such movement usually accentua- 
ting the cough and distressing the dog. Auscultation 
will now reveal dry or moist rales, the former in the 
earlier stages, due to the presence of viscid secretion in 
the bronchial tubes, or a thickening of their walls, and 
the sound produced has a whistling, musical, or squeaking 
quality ; the moist rales are in evidence so soon as the 
secretion becomes liquid, and one hears crackling, 
crepitant, or bubbly sounds. 

(4) Broncho-pneumonia. — If at this stage the patient has 
become, or was previously, weak and unable to expel the 
accumulations of bronchial secretion, a further and serious 
complication arises, which doubtless accounts for many 
deaths in distemper. Owing to the bronchioles be- 
coming clogged with muco-purulent exudate, consoli- 
dated patches in single lobes are formed, which may 
extend to larger areas. This condition is known as 
catarrhal or broncho-pneumonia. Its onset is marked 
usually by a considerable rise in temperature, great 
dyspnoea, rapidity of pulse and respirations, feeble but 



88 CANINE DISTEMPER 

persistent and distressing cough, a diminution or dis- 
appearance of respiratory rales, and sometimes at the last 
by a stinking nasal discharge. When severe, the dog 
seems to find a difficulty in breathing except in an 
upright position, and he blows out his cheeks at each 
expiration — always an ominous sign. 

Only too frequently in such cases death supervenes, 
and is ushered in by a rapid, feeble pulse, diminished 
temperature (perhaps even to subnormal), cold extremi- 
ties, short, decreasing respiration, oedema of the lungs 
(with severe dyspnoea and tympany on percussion), and 
cyanosis, the patient becoming delirious or comatose, 
and succumbing finally to asphyxia. I treated recently 
for several weeks a case of this sort in a two-year-old 
Alsatian wolfhound, and towards the termination of its 
illness it showed all the distressing symptoms herein 
enumerated, in addition to excessive weakness, emacia- 
tion, and restlessness. Its temperature, however, hovered 
about 103° F., and never once exceeded 104° F. ; but its 
peculiar retching kind of cough, accompanied by cries 
as of pain, was most pathetic to witness. Upon post- 
mortem examination, I was rather surprised to find 
that only about one-third of the lung appeared to be 
implicated. 

(S) Croupous Pneumonia. — Distemper subjects have 
been occasionally observed to suffer from croupous 
pneumonia, occurring sometimes as a terminal pneu- 
monia, and hastening a fatal termination to the primary 
disease. It is marked by inflammation of one or more 
lobes of the lung, usually beginning in the lower third, 
the organ being first intensely congested or engorged, 
afterwards becoming red and consolidated from accumu- 
lation of exudate and blood-cells in the alveoli (red 
hepatisation) ; and, later, grey from degeneration of the 
exudates (grey hepatisation), which are finally absorbed. 



SYMPTOMS 



89 



It is attended with the usual shivering, inappetence, dull- 
ness, and a sudden elevation of temperature. There is 
also difficult and rapid breathing and hacking cough, and, 
when complicated by pleurisy, the respiratory movements 
are shallow, and the dog evinces pain if picked up. In 
favourable cases the pulse remains fairly full, and the 
temperature after the crisis falls progressively to normal, 
resolution occurring in about eight or nine days. If a 
fatal termination is to ensue, the pulse becomes thin and 




Fig. 6. — Field of Percussion. 
X, Location of Heart-beat. 
(Miiller and Glass, " Diseases of the Dog.") 

irregular, dyspnoea is excessive, with a blowing respira- 
tion, great restlessness, perhaps blood-stained expec- 
toration, ending in either coma, convulsions, or delirium. 
Percussion over the normal areas of lung will give the 
tympanitic sounds, whilst over the congested or consoli- 
dated areas dullness will be in evidence, and the diseased 
parts can usually be sharply defined. Fine dry crepita- 
tions may be heard at inspiration during the period of 



90 CANINE DISTEMPER 

engorgement ; they gradually diminish as the lung 
becomes hepatised, but their renewal at a later date 
will signify that recovery is taking place. 

(6) Pleurisy. — Pleurisy in my experience occurs but 
rarely in cases of distemper, and then is always a serious 
complication. In the acute type the pleura first becomes 
reddened, and a soft grey lymph exudes. This is th^ 
dry stage, signified by impaired chest movement, sounds 
of friction on auscultation, and pain in the sides of the 
chest. The disease may stop here, or may progress to 
the second stage, in which a copious exudation of serum 
occurs (stage of liquid effusion), bringing in its wake 
increased dyspnoea, but a diminution of pain. There is 
now dullness on percussion over the fluid, the area of 
dullness changing with changes of position; the inter- 
costal depressions tend to become effaced owing to the 
internal pressure of the thoracic liquid. 

No sounds appear to come through the liquid, but 
above its level an increased resonance and friction 
sounds may be heard. Frequently during the second 
stage the dog succumbs from exhaustion. I recently 
treated a Yorkshire terrier puppy which showed no 
other symptoms during the first eight days than those 
of pleurisy, and I considered I was dealing solely with 
that disease, until, on the ninth day, three of the charac- 
teristic symptoms of distemper set in. 

(7) Gangrene of the Lungs. — On very rare occasions gan- 
grene of the lungs has been known to supervene. It 
can be detected by the very foul odour of the breath 
combined with a putrid-smelling nasal discharge ; when 
present it is alwaj^s fatal. 

(8) (Edema of the Lungs.— This condition is observed 
in very young, very old, or weak, debilitated animals, 
and is a very grave symptom indeed. It follows in the 
wake, not only of distemper, but of any very debilitating 



SYMPTOMS 91 

disease which weakens the left side of the heart and 
renders it unable to force the venous blood through the 
lungs. 

Upon its development breathing becomes extremely 
difficult and stertorous, and an opaque blood-stained 
fluid escapes from the nostrils, particularly just before 
and after death. Auscultation reveals loud rattling 
murmurs throughout the lung, and the pulse is irregular. 

Proportionate Frequency of Various Lung Lesions.— It 
is reaso.nably safe to assert that the majority of dogs 
suffering from distemper do not as a rule contract lobar 
pneumonia, pleurisy, oedema or gangrene of the lungs.. 
According to Ferry and his co-workers, records taken of 
sixty-eight cases revealed the lung lesions in the follow- 
ing proportions : 

Broncho-pneumonia ... 45 (mostly only slightly affected). 

Croupous pneumonia ... 13 

CEdema ... ... ... i 

No lung lesions ... ... 9 

A goodly proportion of patients, however, never appear 
to suffer from anything worse than laryngitis or bron- 
chitis, especially as judged by their high spirits and 
steady appetites during these mild attacks, and in 
this connection I might aptly quote M'Gowan, who 
declares: "What has chiefly surprised me in cases of 
congestion of the lungs, pneumonia, and empyemata, is 
the extent of the morbid changes in the lung when 
contrasted with the slight symptoms they produce in 
the animal during life. I have frequently seen a fat, 
well-nourished puppy running about, playing actively, 
and taking its food well ; but on performing a post- 
mortem a day or, two later, have found the lungs prac- 
tically solid with a purulent pneumonia, which must 
have lasted some time. I have seen nine cases of such 
pneumonia and two cases of empyema in the dog due to 



92 CANINE DISTEMPER 

a pure infection witii the distemper organism. Here, 
again, in the case of empyema, the symptoms exhibited 
during life did not lead one to expect, as was found, the 
pleural cavities to be filled with pus, and the lung almost 
completely solidified or collapsed." 

It has been asserted, and no doubt correctly, by many 
authorities whose opinions must command the utmost 
respect, that pneumonia is a complication of distemper ; 
but in consequence of its being so frequently in associa- 
tion with distemper I regard it as being a very con- 
firmatory and diagnostic symptom, even as are also the 
abdominal and other conditions. 

Nevertheless, individually none of them is charac- 
teristic, though two or three in combination should be 
sufficient evidence to expel all further doubts. 

Uncomplicated Distemper. — Uncomplicated distemper is 
thought to be a pure and simple catarrh of the respiratory 
mucous membranes — in fact, coryza — marked by a slight 
rise in temperature (i° F.), watery discharge from eyes 
and nose, and a husky cough. These three affections 
are found together in about 55 per cent, of cases, whilst 
cough may be observed in quite 90 per cent., which 
seems to prove that the primary infection is in the trachea 
and bronchi, and not in the nose. 

Eye Symptoms. — Ocular lesions may be conveniently 
described here, since their production is frequently 
brought about by the direct spread of infection from 
the nose via the nasal duct. When the secretions from 
the nose have become purulent, this duct is more or 
less occluded, with the result that the exit for tears is 
blocked, and it is possible that infection may rapidly 
spread along this channel. 

Conjunctivitis. — In a number of cases nothing more 
formidable than a watery effusion from the eyes is 
observed, accompanied by a great distaste for strong 



SYMPTOMS 93 

light on the part of the dog, especially in small breeds 
such as Pekingese, Pomeranians, etc., though usually we 
find it supplemented by a serous or purulent conjunc- 
tivitis. In such cases photophobia is almost constantly 
present, corresponding in degree to the severity of the 
inflammation. 

In very many cases this aff'ection is not manifest until 
about a week has elapsed after the first noticeable signs 
of sickness, though in fewer instances it occurs much 
earlier or may not, in fact, occur at all. The ocular 
catarrhal discharge is generally characteristic of dis- 
temper, and may be found roughly in about 60 per cent, 
of cases in combination with other symptoms, but very 
rarely alone. In forty-eight hours this serous or muco- 
purulent eff'usion may, in graver cases, have developed 
into a thick yellow purulent exudate (blenorrho;a) which 
adheres obstinately to the eyelids and lashes, where it 
dries into crusts, effectually gumming the lids together 
and imprisoning the succeeding formations of pus in 
the orbit. 

Simultaneously a thick purulent discharge is exuding 
from the nostrils, around which it clings and dries, 
causing the nose to become cracked and ulcerated. In 
consequence of the considerable amount of mechanical 
obstruction often caused to breathing, the discharges are 
violently sneezed out. 

Ulcerated Cornea. — The condition advances from bad 
to worse, for not only does the dog injure its eyes by 
scratching and rubbing at them in its futile endeavours 
to remove the off'ending concretions, but, as might be 
expected, the accumulations of stale pus set up excoria- 
tions of the skin surrounding the eye, attended by loss of 
hair, and graver still, often cause ulceration of the cornea. 
When these excretions are cleaned away and the eye 
opened, the conjunctival mucous membrane is found 



94 CANINE DISTEMPER 

extremely congested and swollen, and photophobia is in- 
tense; the eye at this stage is very frequently affected 
with a vascular keratitis, and in some instances becomes 
further complicated with panophthalmia. 

The ulcerated condition of the cornea is a fairly common 
occurrence in distemper, the lesion being located usually 
in the centre as a small shallow depression, varying in 
size from that of a pin's point to fV inch. It may have a 
traumatic origin — inflicted by the patient itself — or may 
have been preceded by small vesicles which later burst, 
leaving the cornea thinned at this spot. We know, how- 
ever, from clinical experience, that corneal ulcers some- 
times occur in the absence of any of these exciting causes ; 
thus we should not be dogmatic in expressing an opinion. 
If the ulcers are neglected, one not infrequently finds 
that incomplete perforation takes place, with a resulting 
hernia of Descemet's membrane. 

Staphyloma. — As a further complication, this membrane 
may now become pervious and a quantity of the aqueous 
fluid be lost through the aperture, causing in its turn a 
prolapse of the iris. This condition is termed staphyloma. 

It is a debatable point as to whether sight is ever 
regained after this grave condition, and I believe the 
most favourable termination would be the retention of 
only a very blurred vision. Whilst an uncomplicated 
ulcer usually clears up quite well, leaving no trace of its 
previous existence, a staphyloma is often the forerunner 
of a permanent disfigurement in the shape of cataract of 
the lens, or irreducible corneal opacity with partial or 
total loss of sight, or panophthalmitis with probable total 
extirpation of the eyeball. 

Panophthalmitis. — Panophthalmitis is an inflammation 
of all the tissues or structures of the eyeball, and is a 
very grave complication indeed. Intense pain is pro- 
duced and the eyelids are constantly closed. Accumula- 



SYMPTOMS 95 

tions of pus are soon found in the anterior chamber, 
which find exit through the corneal perforation, and the 
aqueous and vitreous humours may escape by the same 
channel. All sight has then vanished; the eyeball 
collapses and shrivels, and there is no alternative but to 
totally remove what remains by surgical means. In rare 
cases panophthalmia may suddenly appear in the absence 
of any septic infection through a corneal perforation, and 
run an acute rapid destructive course in which all parts 
of the eye are intensely inflamed, and rupture of the 
cornea accomplished from within, with consequent loss 
of the humours. Panophthalmia may be transferred 
from an affected to an unaffected eye by a sympathetic 
process, the condition being known as "sympathetic pan- 
ophthalmitis." 

Parenchymatous Keratitis. — Not rarely, instead of 
ulcerative processes occurring one finds a parenchyma- 
tous keratitis or bluish milky opacity diffused over the 
whole of the anterior part of the eyeball (which has 
been described by some as having a "ground-glass" 
appearance) and which may subsequently extend in- 
wards and involve the iris, with resulting iritis. This 
last condition is marked by pain, congestion in the 
ciliary region, photophobia, contraction of the pupil and 
discoloration of the iris. These diffuse opacities some- 
times remain for the rest of the animal's life, especially 
in old dogs, and whilst they do not seem absolutely to 
deprive the eye of all sight for near objects, they certainly 
seriously curtail vision for long distances. 

Interstitial keratitis, parenchymatous keratitis, as also 
ulcerative keratitis, may affect one or both eyes, pan- 
ophthalmia usually only one eye, and ordinary benign 
conjunctivifis practically always both eyes. Opacities — 
like many other pathological conditions — though arising 
sometimes in a few hours, frequently require many 



96 CANINE DISTEMPER 

weeks of treatment before dispersal is effected, and may 
even be permanent. 

The sequelae which may arise from lesions of the eye 
in distemper are : 

(i) Leucoma. — Cicatricial opacities of the cornea, 
following ulcerative keratitis, may vary in size and 
density, and remain sometimes permanently. Occasion- 




FiG. 7. — Leucoma of the Left Eye. 

ally the cornea undergoes pigmentation, "pigmentum 
nigrum " being the dark colouring matter which appears 
in spots on the internal surface of the corneal membrane 
after ulceration. 

(2) Cataract. — An opacity of the crystalline lens or of 
its capsule. Grey cataract may occur as a result of 
disease of other parts of the eye, which has forced the 
lens into abnormal positions, or rendered its nutrient 
supply defective. The discoloration or opacity may be 



SYMPTOMS 



97 



in localised spots or diffused, and where difficulty is 
experienced in making a thorough examination of the 
lens for diagnostic purposes the best plan is to dilate 
the pupil by. means of atropine. Prognosis is unfavour- 




FiG. 8. — Grey Cataract of Both Eyes. 
(Miiller and Glass, " Diseases of the Dog.") 

able : the sight is impeded or entirely lost according to 
the extent of the lesion. 

(3) Amaurosis, or complete blindness, occurs some- 
times in the absence of any apparent lesions of the eye, 
but probably is a sequel to retinitis, atrophy of the optic 
nerve, or diseases of the brain. It is known also as 
" Black Cataract," presumably from the absence of white 
or other visible lesions. No pain is connected with the 
condition, but prognosis is very grave, as only in the 
rarest instances have dogs been known to recover their 
sight after the onset of amaurosis. 

(4) Glaucoma, or dropsy of the anterior chamber; a 
secondary disease marked by intense intra -ocular 
pressure, and resulting in hardness of the eye, atrophy 
of the optic disc, and blindness. The cornea is rendered 
opaque and the conjunctivae frequently inflamed. 

7 



98 CANINE DISTEMPER 

(5) Total Excision. — A grave termination which becomes 
imperative in some cases of panophthalmitis and glau- 
coma. 

(6) Nystagmus. — This name has been given to a con- 
tinuous rolling movement of the eye, and is said to have 
been observed as a rare sequel to distemper, but in 
fourteen years' experience I have never encountered a 
case in the lower animals (except in connection with 
concussion of the brain after an accident), though it is 
occasionally seen in the human being. Fortunately all 
these sequelae are quite infrequent, the great majority of 
cases of distemper leaving in their wake no serious com- 
plication connected with the eye. 

At the moment I am treating a Pekingese spaniel nine months old, 
and said to be " over distemper." It was brought to me for examination 
and opinion one Saturday morning. It was lively and feeding well, but 
had a watery discharge from both eyes, though more particularly from 
the near side one, and a snuffling of the nose ; temperature was ioo"6° F., 
and the owner had noted a state of constipation. On the left flank was 
a minute pimple in the centre of what appeared to be a small patch of 
dry eczema. Notwithstanding the history, I diagnosed distemper. The 
following Monday it was brought again, and I was surprised to find the 
left eye quite opaque and a well-developed corneal ulcer present 
attended by profuse lachrymation and moderate photophobia. Con- 
stipation still in evidence, also sneezing; temperature ioi-o° F. and 
appetite good. Suitable treatment was prescribed, and by the end of 
the week much improvement had taken place in the eye and in the 
general condition of the dog. I am, however, making no hasty prog- 
nosis, although the case is doing wonderfully well. This is a good 
example of how quickly corneal ulcers and keratitis will appear even 
in the absence of any purulent discharges, and how early they may 
appear in the disease. 

II. Gastro- Intestinal Symptoms.— There are many 
symptoms associated with the "abdominal" or "digestive" 
type of the disease, foremost of which is probably loss 
of appetite ; although many cases are to be met in which 
the hunger and sprightly activities of the dog are in no 
wise abated — even throughout the course of a mild 
attack. 



SYMPTOMS 99 

Oral Lesions, — Many writers have spoken of the so- 
called oral lesions of distemper, in which ulceration of 
the buccal mucous membrane has played a prominent 
part. Personally I have only observed these lesions in 
a small minority of cases. More frequently I have 
noticed a hyperaemic appearance of the gums, which 
have bled upon the slightest provocation. The teeth 
also at times show a dirty brown discoloration, and 
the tongue may be furred. Some authorities have 
included necrosis and gangrene of the free anterior 
portion of the tongue as a lesion of distemper; but in 
my opinion they are confounding the symptoms of this 
malady with those of Stuttgart disease. 

Occasionally a vesicular eruption may be detected 
about the lips and at the angles of the mouth, which, 
however, may be part of the exanthema sometimes found 
in distemper on other parts of the body, particularly the 
abdomen and thighs. 

Pharyngitis. — As a result of the catarrhal affection, the 
pharynx and larynx may be swollen and slightly inflamed 
at the onset, giving rise to sore throat, cough, and profuse 
expectoration, whilst difficulties in swallowing or breath- 
ing may also become apparent. In such a contingency, 
if medicinal treatment is contemplated, it is a wise pre- 
caution to ascertain first whether the dog will be able to 
receive the medicine safely and swallow it. 

Vomiting. — Vomiting a thin, frothy mucus is frequently 
one of the earliest symptoms, indicating irritation of 
the stomach in consequence of a catarrh of that organ, 
which may vary in its intensity a? in its incidence. Too 
much importance need not, however, be attached at any 
time to vomition in the dog, as he is able to accomplish 
this act at will, and frequently does so. Being forced 
to submit only too often to ignorance in his treatment, 
it is perhaps fortunate for him that he possesses this 



100 CANINE DISTEMPER 

power. There is generally increased thirst, a dry, hot 
mouth, and some degree of constipation. 

Diarrhoea.— P^ considerable conflict of opinion exists 
as to whether diarrhoea is an early symptom, or appears 
at a later stage in the course of the malady. From my 
own observations, it appears usually after a brief period 
of costiveness, though sometimes only at a very late 
stage, and at other times precedes every other discernible 
symptom. Ferry declares : " An important point is the 
fact that diarrhoea is one of the earliest symptoms in 
distemper, and it is found in nearly every case providing 
vve look for it early enough. I have often seen it before 
1 have recorded a cough ; I suppose because it is a 
symptom that leaves behind a record of its own. 1 soon 
learned that if I saw a young dog with a watery diarrhoea 
I would be pretty sure to find a case of distemper within 
a few days." 

Infection in the Fceces. — Ferry frequently found his 
B. bronchisepticus in the faeces of distempered dogs, and 
maintained that diarrhoea was thus to be regarded as a 
classical symptom, and, being one of the earliest, of 
the gravest importance. In contention with this view, 
M'Gowan says : " The group of symptoms usually 
classed as abdominal distemper to my mind are not indi- 
cative of distemper per se, but of a cachectic septic con- 
dition entirely secondary to the disease. It includes 
wasting, ulcers on mucous membrane of mouth and 
gums, dirty teeth, stinking breath, vomiting, and diar- 
rhoea. Usually along with these are included jaundice, 
and, in some cases, bloody diarrhoea and the passage of 
pure blood per rectum. " 

It is difficult to reconcile these contrary opinions, but 
greater credence seems due to Ferry from the obvious 
clinical fact that diarrhoea is so frequently (though not 
in the majority of cases) seen before any other phenor 



SYMPTOMS 101 

menon, and secondary infections can hardly be believed 
to^manifest themselves in anticipation of primary ones. 
It is seldom that any case of distemper ever runs its full 
course without the incidence of diarrhoea at some period, 
and, on the whole, we usually expect it early. 

Sometimes what appears to be only a case of simple 
but obstinate diarrhoea, enduring over a week or two, 
suddenly terminates by the advent of nervous symptoms 
and, it may be, death in convulsions. 

Constipation. — Where constipation is a prelude to a 
generalised attack, it may be suggested in explanation 
that since the dog has no appetite, no food has been con- 
sumed, and therefore none can be passed ; or that the 
absence of food in the alimentary canal has brought 
about a cessation of peristalsis, or a condition of intestinal 
stasis ; further, since the presence of food in the mouth 
and stomach is necessary to stimulate secretion of 
digestive juices, absence would account for non-secretion 
and consequent dry condition of the mucous membrane 
of the bowel. This condition is then overcome by the 
action of the invading organisms, which set up a general 
gastro-intestinal catarrh, with resulting diarrhoea. If no 
formed faeces exist, fluid slimy or frothy stools contain- 
ing mucus, which soon become very foetid, are then 
evacuated. 

Gastro-Enteritis. — Very often the catarrh is so intense 
that it merges into an acute inflammation, accompanied by 
colic, tenesmus, and the passage of sanguineous evacua- 
tions or even of pure blood. If an autopsy were made 
at this stage the intestinal tract would be found full of 
mucus — evidence of gastro-intestinal catarrh — and the 
mucous membrane observed to be very swollen and corru- 
gated, the convexities of the ridges being haemorrhagic, 
or even ulcerous, and presenting an appearance similar 
to that so often observed in swine fever, with the excep- 



102 



CANINE DISTEMPER 



tion that the ulcers of swine fever are very typical of that 
disease. 

The condition may be aggravated by the presence of 
worms, improper feeding, or the administration of quack 
nostrums, many of which are totally contra-indicated— 
particularly severe purgatives and vermifuges. 

Tenesmus and Rectal Prolapse.— Tenesmus or straining 
becomes persistent and painful, in consequence of which, 




Fig. 9. — Prolapse of the Rectum. 

not uncommonly, the veterinary surgeon has to contend 
with a grave complication in the prolapse of the rectum. 
Protracted diarrhoea and tenesmus will set up a rapid 
emaciation, and the animal will evince signs of internal 
pain, such as arching of the back, general uneasiness, 
tenderness on pressure of the abdomen — which is tense 
and contracted — and excessive thirst. If, then, we 
observe the passage of pure blood per anum, this may be 
evidence either of ulceration or of a probable intussus- 



SYMPTOMS 103 

ception, which frequently leads to a fatal termination. 
Diarrhoea in itself, provided it proves amenable to treat- 
ment and is not reducing the dog to a state of great weak- 
ness, need not be feared as a very serious sign ;-in fact, 
should an obstinate diarrhoea suddenly cease without 
apparent cause, it is viewed with some concern, as it is 
thought that the retention of poisons which would other- 
wise have been eliminated sets up a toxaemia which 
attacks the central nervous system, producing nervous 
manifestations such as chorea, convulsions, etc. 

Emaciation. — Emaciation is peculiarly typical of dis- 
temper, and has been observed by practically every 
writer on the subject. Rapid emaciation, with or with- 
out a very marked diarrhoea, is a symptom not to be 
overlooked. The dog may lie about in a listless manner 
for a week or two, losing flesh rapidly, with no marked 
temperature, or possibly with a subnormal one ; some- 
times with a cough, now and then so slight as to be 
entirely overlooked, when suddenly it will develop a 
purulent discharge from the eyes and nose and die within 
a few days from a most virulent type of the disease. In 
such cases, even though of such short duration, the loss 
of flesh will often be remarkable. It can be noticed again 
and again, even in mild and favourable attacks, what a 
comparatively great loss of weight takes place, and severe 
symptoms do not appear to be essential to its incidence. 

After the discharges have made their appearance in the 
virulent and rapid types of distemper, the chances of 
recovery with any kind of treatment are practically nil. 
Progressive wasting may be produced or encouraged by 
excessive purgation, and is certainly always the sequel 
to a long-continued debilitating diarrhoea. 

The putrid type of distemper oitexi occurs as a complica- 
tion of what had previously been a benign attack, and in 
which we find the development of a marked debility. 



104 CANINE DISTEMPER 

speedy emaciation, profuse, stinking, and sometimes 
sanguineous, nasal discharge— indicating extensive ulcer- 
ation of the nasal mucous membranes, or pus in the 
sinuses— an irritant and very excoriating ocular dis- 
charge, with, on rare occasions, an exudation from the 
ear; the f^cal material is a mixture of blood, mucus, and 
offensive bile, the body of the poor wretched beast 
emitting a vile smell characteristic of distemper; and 
after a miserable existence of varied duration, finally 
succumbing to the inevitable. 

Jaundice. — Under the heading of gastro-intestinal 
lesions one might very conveniently consider the hepatic 
symptoms which sometimes arise with or after distemper, 
since they are closely related to those of the alimentary 
canal. Jaundice is a somewhat rare, though very 
frequently fatal, comphcation of distemper, in which the 
bile invades every tissue of the body, via the blood 
stream, causing a characteristic yellow hue to skin and 
.visible mucous membranes. These yellow tints set in 
at a somewhat late stage of the complaint, the sclerotic 
and conjunctiva then being first invaded, followed in 
turn by the mucous membranes, skin, and urine. The 
latter takes on a deeper hue, and the faeces are variously 
black, greenish, or clay-coloured and very offensive. The 
breath is bad, vomition is sometimes excessive, and the 
vomit often mixed with blood, the animal very depressed 
and constipated. Sometimes, however, there is diarrhoea, 
the excrements being bloody ; or pure blood may at 
times be voided. From the moment the yellow tinge sets 
in, the faeces become greyish-white, owing to the stoppage 
of" the flow of bile into the intestines, and they contain 
much undigested fat. The antiseptic effect of the bile is 
absent, which fact— coupled with the presence of un- 
digested fat in the faeces — makes the latter very foetid 
and unpleasant. 



SYMPTOMS 105 

There is pain on pressure over the region of the Hver, 
with occasional enlargement and hardness of that organ. 
The pulse becomes weaker, and the animal more feeble, 
the extremities cold, and emaciation pronounced, whilst 
convulsions succeeded by profound coma usually pre- 
cede death. 

Cause. — The duodenum as well as the rest of the 
intestine is filled with a pale stringy mucus (absence 
of bile), and the opening of the common duct is occluded 
by spread of the intestinal inflammation to its mucous 
membrane, obstructive jaundice being thus produced. 
Swelling of intestinal mucous membrane adjacent to the 
opening of the bile duct is another frequent cause of 
obstruction in cases of distemper. 

Youatt found the condition most frequently in hounds 
and greyhounds, particularly in cases showing little 
catarrhal exudation from the nose. I fail to see a con- 
nection, however, between the two phenomena. The 
common experience seems to be that when jaundice 
appears as a complication, it does so in particular out- 
breaks, or during certain years or seasons. The few 
cases I have seen of the combination, however, have been 
quite sporadic, and apparently independent of either 
time or place, nor have they been confined to any par- 
ticular breed. Age has no influence in its production, 
young and old being equally susceptible. 

While it is my opinion that the jaundice of distemper 
is a catarrhal jaundice due to duodenal catarrh, there are 
others who consider it is of partly haematogenous and 
partly hepatogenous origin, which latter includes toxaemic 
jaundice and the jaundice seen in malaria, typhoid, 
typhus, and yellow atrophy of the liver. 

Weber, of Paris, remarks: "It prevails among dogs 
which are left in the charge of keepers, and, as often 
happens, are subjected to strong drastic purgatives, or 



106 CANINE DISTEMPER 

to emetics, with a view to cure the distemper." Other 
predisposing causes are chills, fatigue, and obstinate 
constipation. 

There is usually little to be found on post-mortem 
examination which would seem to account adequately 
for death ; thus, one can OHly conclude that an intoxica- 
tion by some poison, as evidenced by prostration, insen- 
sibility, and subnormal temperature, is the direct cause 
of a fatal termination. 

If a favourable turn should, however, occur, it will be 
evinced first by diminished discoloration of the urine, 
then b}' darkening of the faecal tint, more regular and 
better pulse, increase of temperature, greater vivacity, 
and a healthier hue of the visible mucous membranes. 

III. Nervous Symptoms. — There are no symptoms of 
this dread disease which are more fraught with mischief 
or mortality, or less amenable to treatment, than the 
many nervous complications unfortunately so frequent 
in distemper. 

They are variously observed to precede all other 
symptoms, to occur during the course of the malady, or as 
a termination. Even some time after supposed complete 
recovery, cases have been recorded in which nervous 
sequelae have arisen. 

Etiology. — Their etiology seems to remain more or 
less obscure, although several theories have been ad- 
vanced. For instance, Youatt considered that an inflam- 
mation of the eye or of the nose might, from very 
proximity, soon be communicated to the brain, probably 
via the cribriform plates. Blain, however, says : " It is 
not unlikely that in some few cases a true metastasis 
(transference of disease from one organ to another) 
occurs, for we occasionally have a very sudden attack 
of epilepsy without any of those premonitory symptoms 
which usually predict with malign certainty the dis- 



SYMPTOMS 107 

temper fits ; and there is more reason to conclude this 
since a single fit, not followed up by another, particu- 
larly when it appears early in the complaint, is often not 
injurious, and therefore we may suppose it the conse- 
quence of a sudden metastasis, which as quickly returns 
to its original seat." 

M'Gowan {Journ. Path, and Bad., vol. xv., 191 1) 
intimated his opinion that " complications were due to 
the spread of the distemper organism to other parts . . . 
and chorea appeared to be due to an extension of infec- 
tion from the middle ear, or roof of the nose, to the 
meninges, thereby causing a meningitis. I have ob- 
served three such cases, and in one a scanty growth of 
the distemper organism was obtained pure from the 
brain, and a histological examination of the brain showed 
the presence of a meningitis. I would place all the 
various paralyses that occur in distemper in the group of 
complications attributable to toxins. In seven cases of 
this kind, all of which were of the nature of paraplegia, 
histological examination showed small-celled infiltration 
of the vessels and grey matter of the cord, a condition 
indicating poisoning of the cord by some toxin. Cultures 
made from the cord were sterile." 

Hutyra and Marek are of opinion that the specific dis- 
temper virus causes an early involvement of the nervous 
system by the development of degenerative changes in 
the brain and spinal cord, which, in some cases, are 
subsequently manifested by striking nervous symptoms. 

Coma. — Cases of distemper may begin with great 
depression and dullness ; there is a marked apathy, and 
sometimes even deep coma. This early listlessness and 
general prostration undoubtedly arise from a lack of 
healthy nervous energy ; but the phenomena about to be 
described are the consequence of a morbid energy that 
is sometimes partial, in which case, possibly, the spinal 



108 CANINE DISTEMPEH 

cord is principally affected, or it may be total, when we 
conclude the brain is the seat of attack. The effects 
naturally vary according to the part of the central 
nervous system which is affected. 

This condition of coma may in a great many cases be 
accompanied by periods of excitement, nervousness, 
restlessness, yelping, and even true delirium, succeeded 
again by marked depression. These disturbances may 
prove to be the only manifestations of nervous dis- 
order. 

Clonic Spasms.— We may next observe twitchings of 
various muscles or groups of muscles — e.g., in the lips, 
eyelids, cheeks,- masseters, temporals, etc., followed 
perhaps by epileptiform convulsions, Since clonic spasms 
of the muscles of mastication produce an automatic 
opening and closing of the mouth, the saliva is whipped 
into foam, and this so-called "foaming at the mouth," 
combined with the convulsive movements of the whole 
body, may lead one to suppose that the animal is in a fit. 

Epilepsy or Fits. — A true epileptiform seizure, how- 
ever, implies loss of consciousness. Fits may occur at 
long intervals, or may follow so rapidly one on the other 
that the animal is hardly ever at rest. Sometimes a fit 
is preceded by general restlessness or excitement, in 
which the dog whimpers or yelps, and runs aimlessly 
about, occasionally stopping to stare stupidly about him, 
and then becomes suddenly convulsed, falls down, and 
loses consciousness ; or the animal may lie quietly 
from the termination of one seizure to the beginning of 
another. Owing to the occasional relaxation of the anal 
and vesicular sphincters, urine and faeces may be in- 
voluntarily passed. The prognosis is extremely serious 
when fit after fit attacks the poor beast without inter- 
mission, lasting over a considerable period, and a fatal 
termination may fairly safely be predicted. 



SYMPTOMS 109 

If the dog regains consciousness, it appears such a 
pitiable wreck that one feels constrained to abandon 
hope and end its miseries. In some cases dogs become 
comatose immediately after cessation of convulsions, and 
may remain so for many hours, or may never regain 
consciousness. Opinions differ as to whether fits are an 
early symptom ; my own experience is in agreement 
with that of Gray, who says convulsions in the early or 
initial stage of distemper are rare, and when met with 
are usually attributable to causes such as intestinal 
parasites, the presence of oestrum, excitement, or indi- 
gestion, etc. As a rule, these nervous phenomena are 
not regarded as evidences of an approaching attack of 
distemper, especially as symptoms suggestive of the 
disease, such as catarrh of the eyes and nostrils, may 
not appear until from one to three weeks afterwards. 

On the other hand. Ferry has stated: "A very im- 
portant early symptom is ' fits.' How many a defenceless 
cur has been condemned to die at the point of a gun, 
with the diagnosis of rabies behind it, when the dumb 
brute was really in the throes of distemper. The dog 
was frothing at the mouth, of course, and its eyes were 
glassy, but that does not signify it was mad." 

Personally I have encountered but few cases in practice 
in which a puppy brought to me suffering from epilepsy 
has later turned out to be a subject of distemper; and 
one may be excused for diagnosing " epilepsy of 
unknown origin," or "worms," where no symptom 
characteristic of any other condition has as yet presented 
itself 

Epilepsy versus Rabies. — Speaking of rabies, it is 
undoubtedly true that the stage of furious excitement 
associated with nervous distemper has often led to the 
premature death of the animal through a mistaken 
diagnosis, for the dog tears up the ground, runs at its 



110 CANINE DISTEMPER 

attendant or owner, bites at everything within reach, 
and often at itself, and looks wild-eyed and mad. 

These phenomena, however, usually abate quickly 
when distemper is the root cause, leaving the animal 
greatly exhausted and very depressed. In rabies they 
would not appear so suddenly, nor attain the great 
violence which so frequently characterises epilepsy. 
The latter never accompanies rabies in any stage of 
that disease. 

A succession of such furious manifestations, lasting 
perhaps two or three days, usually effects a fatal 
termination, for the animal is worn down and sinks from 
exhaustion. Cases are not unknown in which affected 
dogs develop a tendency to move in a circle, walking or 
trotting round and round, always one way, and quite 
oblivious to their surroundings or the voices of those 
they know best. Another curious manifestation is that 
in which the animal, when in a recumbent position, 
appears to be running as fast as it can, all legs being in 
progressive motion, and the dog simultaneously whining 
or moaning. In both conditions the brain is apparently 
implicated, and both are always extremely ominous. 

Warning of Fits. — Fits, as occurring in distemper, are 
usually preceded by some warning, and may possibly 
be averted if carefully watched for. For instance, we 
notice local twitchings, already referred to, as affecting 
the cheeks, mouth, or eyelids, restlessness, and hot head ; 
these would be entirely absent in cases of fits arising 
from teething, worms, or unusual excitement, for here 
the animal is one moment perfectly normal and at play, 
and the next he is unconscious. 

Youatt sums up the situation very nicely in the 
following paragraph: "However indisposed to eat, the 
dog may have previously been, the appetite returns 
when the fits are at hand, and the animal becomes 



SYMPTOMS 111 

absolutely voracious. Nature seems to be providing for 
the great expenditure of power which epilepsy will soon 
occasion. The mucus almost entirely disappears from 
the eyes, although the discharge from the nose may 
continue unabated; and for an hour or more before the 
fit there will be a champing of the lower jaw, frothing 
at the mouth, and discharge of saliva. The champing of 
the lower jaw will be seen at least twelve hours before 
the first fit, and will for a little while precede every 
other." I might add that diarrhoea also receives a 
temporary check, but how far this is concerned in help- 
ing to produce epilepsy I cannot say. 

When epilepsy makes its appearance quite late in the 
disease, it is always a more sinister sign than when it is 
manifested early, for it seems more prone to lead to the 
more chronic nervous affections, such as chorea and 
paraplegia, and perhaps even to coma and death. 

Cerebral Meningitis and its Sequelce. — An occasional 
sequel to distemper is the production of meningitis, 
which, among other causes, may be directly due to an 
extension of inflammation from neighbouring structures 
to the meninges. In some cases symptoms occur that 
indicate irritation of the nerves at the base of the brain- 
such as strabismus or squint, ptosis or drooping of the 
eyelid, optic neuritis, facial paralysis, muscular spasms, 
etc. In this connection it is interesting to note that 
ptosis and strabismus are also complications of human 
measles. Dogs are liable to all these affections, though 
they are seen but rarely. 

Chorea, or St. Vitus' Dance. — More commonly they are 
stricken with chorea, which is apparently an interrupted 
or intermittent supply of nerve force to the muscles, 
which is attended with irritability and depression, or 
with mental impairment. It may become pronounced at 
any stage of the disease, but in the vast majority of cases 



112 CANINE DISTEMPER 

it occurs near the crisis or during convalescence, and 
occasionally long afterwards. A convulsive involuntary 
twitching attacks sometimes the head, sometimes one or 
more limbs, and at other times the whole body, which then 
becomes contorted into strange attitudes. Most frequently 
the temporal or masseter muscles are affected in mild 
cases, or the whole head may exhibit a jerky side-to-side 
movement ; in other cases, one leg may show a jumpy or 
extravagant action when the dog progresses, or regular 
spasmodic flexions when at rest. When the intensity of 
the spasms increases, they are noticed equally as well 
during sleep as when awake ; in fact, they often becom.e 
so violent and continuous as to prevent the animal from 
sleeping, and so exhaust the patient that death eventuallj' 
ensues. In the human being, it is most common among 
children, and is closely associated with acute rheumatism ; 
in many cases also, the heart shows signs of an endo- 
carditis similar to that observed in acute rheumatism. 
The so-called chorea in adults is said to be habit-spasm 
only. 

This affection, however, is not necessarily a fatal one, 
and may after a lengthy duration gradually diminish and 
finally pass away, though unfortunately it has a tendency 
to increase in severity and terminate in fatal convulsions. 
Dogs sometimes live for several years affected with 
chorea, which then may or may not disappear entirely ; 
thus it is an imprudent and faint-hearted procedure to 
abandon all hope of recovery and condemn a dog to an 
untimely death, especially where the animal is of con- 
siderable value either in a sentimental or monetary sense. 

A poor man might probably be well advised to follow 
such a course in view of the very problematical prospect 
of a complete return to usefulness, and the cost of 
administering treatment over a protracted period ; also, 
in arriving at a. decision, the possibility of a paralysis 



SYMPTOMS 113 

supervening must not be lost sight of— the animal 
becoming a complete or partial cripple. 

Gray, however, records a case in which a dog, having 
suffered some years from chorea, then became paralysed, 
but eventually absolute recovery resulted. 

Chorea affecting any muscle or group of muscles may 
be succeeded by paralysis of those parts, extending ulti- 
mately, perhaps, to general paralysis, coma, and death. 
By judicious treatment, however, it is often possible to 
considerably lessen the spasmodic activity and its in- 
jurious effects by enhancing the general tone of the 
nervous system and building up a strength which might, 
even permanently, overcome the morbid condition. 

It has been said that the name " chorea " as applied to 
this affection of dogs is a misnomer, as the movements 
(incessant snapping of jaws, twitching of eyelids, and 
jerking of the head from side to side) are not of the same 
order as those in chorea of children, but are indicative of 
cortical irritation. In true chorea of man there is found 
no pathological alteration of the brain ; anaemia is present, 
and spasms are not confined to special muscular groups, 
but various muscular centres of the body are implicated. 

Cause of Chorea. — Chorea in dogs, although it might 
possibly exist independently, is very constantly associ- 
ated with distemper, and in fact is declared by some 
to be absolute proof of the present or previous existence 
of that disease. Nevertheless, it is seen also in myelitis 
of traumatic or other origin, and as a result of abscesses 
and tumours contiguous with the brain, etc. In distemper 
its most probable etiology is the action of bacterial 
toxins on the grey matter of the spinal cord, for the 
inferior horns have been observed by some to be 
thickened or hardened. Carougeau, Bohl, arid Rexter 
noted an infiltration of leucocytes in the grey matter of 
the entire cord, especially in the inferior horns. 



114 CANINE DISTEMPER 

Signs of a Previous Attack of Distemper.— \t is certain 
that if a practitioner were asked to state definitely 
whether a dog brought to him suffering from chorea had 
comparatively recently been a victim of distemper he 
would, in the absence of any history, be sorely exercised 
to give an opinion. He would, however, be extremely 
suspicious that such was the case, and he might endeavour 
to confirm this view by searching for the few signs occa- 
sionally discoverable after an attack, such as deafness, 
defective sight (cataract, keratitis, corneal cicatrices, etc.), 




Fig. 10. — Paralysis of the Cord. 
(Miiller and Glass, " Diseases of the Dog.") 

decay or erosions of dental enamel, and the black or 
dark brown pigmented areas which may be found on the 
abdomen, thighs, ear-flaps, or other parts, marking the 
spots where pustules had previously been, and assuming 
a size ranging from that of a pin's head to a pea. 

The Paralyses — Paralysis. — Paralysis is a diametrically 
opposite condition to convulsions, and may be described 
as a loss of motion or sensation in a living part or 
member, as opposed to the diseased involuntary contrac- 
tions of the same parts when affected with convulsions. 

Paresis. — A distinction may be drawn between para- 
lysis, or entire loss of movement, and paresis, or partial 
disability, as evidenced by lameness or weakness from 



SYMPTOMS 



115 



debility. As regards the origin of complete paralysis, 
the various parts of the body are controlled by certain 
centres in the brain, and any disease or abnormal con- 
dition which becomes located in this cortico-muscular 
brain centre, and inflames or inhibits the power of these 
centres, must involve a paralysis of the muscles which 
they control. 

These provocative lesions may owe their own origin 
to traumatism, inflammation, or the compression caused 
by inflammatory exudates, or actual degeneration of the 




Fig. II. — Paralysis of Posterior Extremities. 
(After Miiller and Glass.) 

tissue itself. Pathological conditions of the brain cover- 
ings sometimes cause a paralysis of one part of the body, 
such as of the lower jaw, or one or other of the limbs, 
etc. In the former affection all power of opening or 
closing the jaw is lost, and mastication becomes there- 
fore impossible ; the tongue hangs out, and saliva 
dribbles from the mouth. 

Paralysis is a frequent symptom of rabies, though 
somewhat rare in distemper. In paralysis of the limbs 
the affected leg or legs are never used, but are dragged 
along in a limp or flaccid state. 



116 CANINE DISTEMPER 

Paraplegia.— Paraplegia, is a paralysis of the hind-legs 
and hinder part of the body, afifecting both motion and 
sensation, the condition being indicative of disease or 
injury of the spine. The dog remains strong and active 
in his fore parts, but owing to the debility or total 
disability of the hinder parts, he totters during progres- 
sion, or may drag the inert remainder of his body after 
him. The paralytic affection may in other cases be more 
universal, and cause him to reel about as if intoxicated. 

Hemiplegia. — In hemiplegia, paralysis is observed in 
the muscles of one side of the body only, as a result of 
disease or injury in the brain on the opposite side. 
None of these paralytic states need be regarded as 
necessarily fatal, and, indeed, they often prove to be 
only temporary conditions ; but I hasten to disabuse the 
reader of any idea that they can be lightly regarded, 
since even where voluntary control of the muscles is 
regained there is always a possibility of permanent 
muscular atrophy limiting power and creating disfigure- 
ment. 

Muscular Atrophy. — Where the condition is compara- 
tively quickly amenable to treatment, little or no atrophy 
takes place, and the same may be said of paralyses 
arising from a cerebral source. Muscular atrophy, how- 
ever, is a feature of spinal paralysis, and the degree of 
diminution will be an indication of the duration of the 
disease. 

Sequelae of Paralysis. — Other phenomena occasionally 
noticed as sequelae of paralysis are loss of sight, hearing, 
smell, and even voice, mental deficiency, and respiratory 
whistling. 

Opisthotonos. — What has always proved a fatal symp- 
tom is the very distressing condition known as opis- 
thotonos, in which the head is bent over the back by 
tetanic spasm. It is attended by periods of partial or 



SYMPTOMS 117 

complete unconsciousness, the animal being unable to 
feed, and the rigid contortion is maintained for hours 
and sometimes even days. 

In my experience it has always terminated in deep 
coma and death, the patient's temperature being sub- 
normal and the pulse hardly discernible. 

Spinal Meningitis. — Arising in connection with toxic 
diseases such as distemper and rabies, one sometimes, 
though rarely, observes cases of spinal meningitis in 
which the pia mater is the membrane most affected, 
and paralysis is occasioned — chiefly of the posterior 
extremities, but sometimes also of the anterior. Con- 
sciousness is practically never lost, but hyperaesthesia 
may be marked, the animal constantly gnawing at certain 
^ parts of its body, and the penis in a constant state of 
erection; owing to contraction of the sphincters the 
evacuation of urine and faeces may be impeded, and the 
animal will howl or show other evidence of pain when 
touched, especially along the back. 

At later or more serious stages the sphincters of the 
bladder and anus may also become paralysed, and the 
animal be subject to incontinence. 

If and when the animal becomes moribund, the skin 
when gathered up in one's hand remains so for a few 
minutes, having lost all its power of contractility, and 
this is always to be regarded as a very ominous sign. 

IV. Exanthematous Symptoms. — A great number of the 
earlier authors regarded the cutaneous eruption some- 
times manifested in cases of distemper as a true variolous 
disease, or "dog pox." This was disproved by many 
experimenters from the fact that vaccination with cultures 
prepared from the pustules produced pustules and little 
else, and conferred no immunity ; also from the fact that 
these cultures have practically always given pure growths 
of staphylococci. 



118 CANINE DISTEMPER 

The exanthema of distemper cannot be regarded as 
having a separate entity, but as a secondary infection 
which may or may not be present. Two distinct opinions 
are current as to the diagnostic value and frequency of a 
skin eruption in this disease, each upheld by a formidable 
array of supporters : one school declaring that the erup- 
tion is of first-rate importance, Trasbot even going so 
far as to look upon it as the primary infection, all others 
being subsidiary; the other as stoutly maintaining that, 
if it appears at all, it is of little or no significance. 

Gray, in his paper on " Canine Distemper " (Central 
Veterinary Society, 1905), gave it as his opinion that 
distemper was essentially an eruptive disease, and that 
broncho-pneumonia was entirely a secondary symptom. 
He quoted no less than about fifteen other observers 
who were agreed as to the eruption being present, and 
who pronounced it an " eruptive disease." Sewell, how- 
ever {Veterinary Record, 1905), says : " I would like to state 
that in my experience, now extending over thirty years, 
it is the exception and not the rule for a canine distemper 
patient to have an eruption on the skin. In cases where 
it does occur it is generally noticed in young puppies." 

Mayall (Veterinary Record, 1905) added: "In my ex- 
perience, distemper as a primary skin eruption hardly 
has any existence." M'Gowan (Veterinary Journal, 1912) 
remarked : " I have only seen the rash three times in 
200 dogs, and it is not, in my mind, of the slightest 
importance in diagnosis, as it occurs so seldom, occurs 
late in the disease, and in a situation where irritation of 
fermenting urine and decubitus cannot be excluded as 
the most potent factors in its production." Ferry records 
only eight cases showing skin lesions out of sixty-eight 
animals suffering with distemper ; and my own clinical 
observations (extending now over thirteen years and 
entailing the handling of probably some hundreds of dis- 
temper cases) are in entire agreement with the last- 



SYMPTOMS 119 

named gentlemen. A constant vigilance has been 
maintained for cutaneous no less than other lesions, but 
the results have been almost negative, since only about 
8 per cent, of cases of distemper have been found accom- 
panied by a rash. 

Suggestions have been put forward that the eruption 
is frequently overlooked or not observed, in consequence 
of the practitioner not, as a rule, being called in until the 
disease is far advanced, by which time the eruption 
has generally vanished ; but serious objections can be 
raised to that theory in that (i) healing takes place with 
desquamation of the epidermis only after about seven to 
eight days from its onset, at the earliest, and even then 
leaves discernible traces behind ; (2) many veterinary 
surgeons who possess boarding kennels or infirmaries 
in which dogs remain for long periods, have ample 
opportunities of watching cases of sickness from their 
very inception, apart from those which they visit at their 
owners' homes ; and (3) in many instances the cutaneous 
symptoms are not manifested until at or near the 
termination of the primary malady. 

I knew a case in which a Pekingese puppy was the 
subject of an extensive rash for nine weeks, and eventu- 
ally died. 

It is held by some authorities that this eruption is the 
very earliest symptom of distemper, the spots appearing 
and disappearing within forty-eight to sixty hours ; thus 
if the animal were not under suspicion they might well 
be overlooked. I can remember no cases of this kind, 
but have found skin lesions appearing for the most part 
during convalescence or about the crisis. In a very 
small minority of cases they have occurred in the absence 
of any symptom other than dullness and malaise, leading 
one to doubt whether distemper was implicated or not. 

Diagnostic Value. — It was stated earlier in this work 
that the eruption is characteristic of distemper, and if the 



120 CANINE DISTEMPER 

two statements appear conflicting I would explain that 
in the vast majority of cases where a vesicular eruption 
appears, other typical symptoms of distemper can also be 
apprehended, which leave no doubt about the diagnosis. 
In other words, when this pecuhar eruption is en- 
countered it is practically always in association with dis- 
temper, and becomes in consequence characteristic of it. 
Nevertheless, it occurs both seldom and late, and cannot 
on that account be credited with any primary importance. 

Predilections. — Very young puppies are the most sus- 
ceptible, though middle-aged or old dogs are not entirely 
exempt. Where it is preceded by a slight rise of 
temperature, the latter usually drops to normal upon the 
advent of the eruption. The predilection seats are 
the thin-skinned hairless parts of the body, such as the 
abdomen, inside the arms and thighs, scrotum, inside of 
the ear-flaps, and rarely on the back or head. 

Characters of the Lesion. — The lesion commences as a 
small circular red spot like a flea-bite, which later (say, 
one day) becomes elevated into a nodule surrounded by 
a red ring, and may, during the next three or four days, 
attain the circumference of a pea or even that of the head 
of a lady's hatpin. During this period the nodule has be- 
come vesicular, and contains a yellow serous fluid, which 
infrequently changes to a purulent character. About the 
fourth day the vesicle usually ruptures, forming a moist, 
sticky sore, which becomes scabbed over ; or it may sub- 
side without breaking and wither up, the whole lesion now 
being surrounded by a circular red area with a brownish- 
yellow crusty centre, which peels off in large scales. 

When the vesicle becomes a pustule, a deeper layer of 

skin is involved, which inevitably leads to a more severe 

and visible disfigurement of the skin after resolution has 

'taken place. Usually the lesions are few in number, but 

may vary from a solitary spot to multiple spots all over 



SYMPTOMS 



121 



the body. They give rise to an unpleasant odour, but 
occasion no pruritus worth mentioning, and in that 
respect are easily distinguished from any condition set 
up by mange parasites. At first thought it might be con- 
sidered difficult for a trained eye to confound mange with 
a distemper eruption, since the lesions of the latter are 
practically always discrete ; but there are at times cases 
in which they become confluent, forming large scabbed 



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SHOWING iNeiDENCE OF COMPLICATIONS, 

or moist matted areas, and setting up more or less intense 
irritation. Such instances, however, are very rare. 

The localities actually affected by the eruptions be- 
come permanently denuded of hair, and traces of the 
former may be found long afterwards in the shape of 
black or brown pigmented,, shiny, crinkled areas, each 
marking the seat of a previous vesicle. 

Febrile Symptoms. — If symptoms of uncomplicated dis- 
temper were the only ones present in a typical attack, 
there would probably be little or no observable tem- 



122 



CANINE DISTEMPER 



perature; nevertheless, as in most instances the true 
disease is complicated by more or less severe symptoms, 
pyrexia generally supervenes. In some cases the tem- 
perature is fairly steady, vi^hilst in others it is irregular, 
rising or dropping without apparent reason. If bron- 
chitis becomes severe, or if enteritis appears, the tem- 
perature will rise in proportion to their intensity, and 
still further rises when pneumonia develops, reaching, 
perhaps, as high as io6° F. There have been even fatal 
cases in which no pyrexia has been observed from 
beginning to end, though these instances are undoubtedly 



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Fig. I2A. — Temperature Chart of a Benign Case. 



rare ; for the abnormal temperature may have existed 
so early in the attack, and unaccompanied by other 
symptoms, that nothing amiss was suspected, and there- 
fore no record was taken. 

At the onset of a secondary infection of some im- 
portant organ, a rise of temperature is usually noted, 
and where the temperature throughout has been only 
slightly in excess of normal, such an elevation occurring 
suddenly would be a grave sign. 

The temperature in most cases of distemper is not a 
high one, though should the malady bp accompanied in 
the early stages by a steadily maintained high tempera- 
ture this is not necessarily an indication of grave con- 
sequences, but, on the contrary, foretells, as a rule, an 
eventual recovery. I'hus it is better to encounter a high 



SYMPTOMS 123 

temperature in the early stages than that it should appear 
late in the disease. 

Subnormal Temperatures. — It is not uncommon to find 
the temperature has become subnormal after having 
reached its highest limit, a phenomenon which is accom- 
panied by a reduction in the number of heart-beats and 
respirations, restoration of appetite and vivacity. On 
the other hand, should the subnormal registration super- 
vene upon an attack which has throughout been charac- 
terised by some severe protracted symptoms, high 
temperature, emaciation, great exhaustion, and semi- 
coma, it is an infallible sign of impending death. The 
pulse becomes then almost imperceptible, respiration 
rapid and shallow, and the temperature may only be 
95° or 96° F. The animal is weak, anaemic, perhaps even 
paralysed and collapsed. 

Miscellaneous Symptoms — Emaciation. — Emaciation, in 
greater or less degree, is practically inseparable from 
distemper, and where it gains a firm hold it bodes ill for 
the patient's prospects of recovery. There is always 
a certain amount of wasting, even in those cases which 
are of the benign and transitory type, and it is sometimes 
difficult to explain why there should be. I have known 
it to become very marked in dogs which have been most 
liberally fed on the best of nourishing foods, and which 
have never had a temperature higher than 102° F. duripg 
the two or three weeks' course of their attack. It is 
to be feared where its development is rapid, and the 
accompanying diarrhoea of a very stubborn exhausting 
nature, and there is a perceptible increase of weakness, 
together with the peculiar obnoxious and characteristic 
body odour. These signs are prognostic of a fatal 
termination. 

Muscular Symptoms.— Rarely, symptoms pertaining to 
parenchymatous degeneration of the cardiac muscle 



im CANINE DISTEMPER 

appear in distemper, which, through the resultant weak- 
ness of the heart, generally sets up oedema of the lungs 
and death. 

Symptoms simulating rheumatism have been observed 
by some authors several days prior to the manifestation 
of typical diagnostic symptoms, whilst muscular weak- 
ness frequently imposes itself some time after their 
advent. This weakness is common to most, if not all, 
febrile conditions, and as the dog realises its inability to 
stand or walk without staggering, it remains preferably 
recumbent, thereby probably increasing rather than 
diminishing its intensity. 

Peritonitis. — Peritonitis, as its name implies, is an 
inflammation of the peritoneum, which may be localised 
in the beginning, or later become diffuse. It may arise 
from ulceration of the bowel, from extension of the inflam- 
mation of the mucous to the serous coat of the intestine, 
from pyaemia, or occur from a general inflammation of all 
the serous membranes of the body. It is marked by the 
secretion of an exudate, which may be serous, fibrinous, 
purulent, or hasmorrhagic, and the peritonitis would 
be named according to the character of the exudate. 

In the first stage the peritoneum becomes congested 
and reddened, later exuding a serous fluid, the fibrinous 
components of which form a layer on the peritoneum, 
which has the effect of causing adhesions of bowel to 
abdominal wall, or of bowel to bowel. One may fore- 
cast the age of the lesion by the degree of tenacity 
with which the various organs or parts adhere to one 
another — i.e., if the condition is recent, the adhesions 
easily break down ; old ones are difficult of separation. 

Varying amounts of liquid collect in the abdominal 
cavity, and the serous walls will be found oedematous 
and friable. The abdomen is tense and firm, and the 
dog resents its manipulation, crying out with pain if 



SYMPTOMS 



125 



touched. The back is arched, the animal dull and stiff, 
vomiting of a greenish-yellow mucus frequent, and the 
appetite completely in abeyance. The temperature, if 
previously fairly low, may rise to 104° or 105° F., but 
usually stops at the former figure. 

Later, the abdomen may become distended from the 
presence of accumulated fluid, and this helps materially 
in the diagnosis of the condition ; but when the forma- 




Fig. 13. — Dog with Ascites, arising sometimes from Peritonitis. 
(MuUer and Glass, " Diseases of the Dog.") 

tion of this serosity maintains a gradual increase, a 
pressure is exerted upon the diaphragm which seriously 
impedes the lungs, and produces sometimes acute 
dyspnoea and frequently even death from either suffoca- 
tion, heart failure, or collapse. The pulse . has then 
become thin and rapid or practically imperceptible. 

Peritonitis is> always very fatal, but more rapidly so 
where it is due to perforation of the bowel wall, followed 
.by septic infection. 

Suppurations. — Some authors have described pysemic 
lesions in connection with distemper, but personally I 



126 CANINE DISTEMPER 

cannot recollect having seen a single case of this kind. 
Abscesses have been observed in various parts of the 
body, particularly in the parotid or submaxillary regions, 
about the eyes, lips, forehead, jaw, shoulder, or inguinal 
and umbilical regions. The swellings are said to have 
attained the size of an orange or cocoanut, their contents 
being of a thick yellow or cream-coloured purulent or 
hsemorrhagic character. The condition is sometimes 
associated with a suppurative process of the laryngeal 
or pharyngeal regions, or even of the internal organs. 
" Healing is difficult, and frequently a fistula remains 
in communication with an extensive abscess cavity, 
especially in the region of the throat " (Gray). 

Suppurations of Anal Glands. — Occasionally a dog may 
become the subject of a suppuration in the anal glands ; 
or their ducts may become occluded, thereby producing 
swelling and irritation of the anus, resulting in obstruc- 
tive constipation. The animal evinces its discomfort by 
chasing or biting its tail, or sliding its anus along the 
ground in its attempts to relieve the irritation. Upon 
pressing the swollen glands a thick purulent material 
exudes, the evacuation of which affords the dog great 
relief. 

Otitis. — Otitis, or inflammation of the ear, occasionally 
accompanies or follows distemper, and in such cases 
arises probably as an extension of infection from the 
pharynx via the Eustachian tube, an otitis media being 
produced. The symptoms exhibited are whining and 
restlessness with a frequent scratching at the ear and 
desire to rub it against any fixed object; Attempts by 
the surgeon to manipulate it, however, are rigorously 
opposed,, unless the inflammation is early and of mild 
character, when the dog will usually welcome the rubbing 
or handhng of the aff'ected ear. Sometimes the inflam- 
mation becomes acute, and a copious purulent discharge 



SYMPTOMS 127 

(otorrhoea) is in evidence. There is great pain and some 
amount of deafness ; though, unless both ears are 
affected, it is often difficult to decide to what extent 
hearing has been impeded. It is only in very rare in- 
stances that these cases will not yield to adequate treat- 
ment, although in the severer forms permanent deafness 
may result. 

Balanitis. — Inflammation of the glans penis is rarely 
seen in distemper, but when present might be mistaken 
for preputial catarrh, which is rather more common. 

In these conditions there is swelling of the glans or 
prepuce, whichever may be the seat of affection, and a 
yellow purulent discharge drips from the end of the 
prepuce. The dog calls attention to it by constantly 
licking the part, or wet stains may be left wherever the 
animal has rested for any time. It is not of serious con- 
sequence, and although frequently attributed to a specific 
origin, the dog does not "suffer from specific gonorrhoea, 
and the urethra is not implicated. A similar condition 
may rarely be observed affecting the vulva of the bitch. 

Nephritis. — Probably affections of the kidney are more 
constant in distemper than is generally realised, owing 
to the fact that in slight inflammations little or no dis- 
turbance of health in the dog is apparent. 

Diagnosis would be rendered more certain by micro- 
scopic examination and testing of the urine voided, and 
to distinguish between the various types of nephritis one 
must place most reliance in the post-mortem examination 
of the kidneys. 

This complication arises from the absorption of the 
toxins of, the primary specific disease, and is generally of 
a chronic catarrhal character, in which the pyramids are 
of a reddish hue from the plugging of the tubular canals 
with cells, and the cortical portion yellow or yellowish- 
white. It may arise subsequent to recovery from dis- 



128 CANINE DISTEMPER 

temper on account of the irritation set up by the 
injudicious administration of phosphorus or arsenic used 
in the treatment of chorea, etc., or from absorption of 
turpentine or cantharides used as counter-irritants in 
various conditions, in which cases the resulting nephritis 
would be of the acute type. 

Symptoms will be evident in cases where the condition 
is severe, and as a first indication one may notice a rather 
more frequent micturition with the sometimes painful 
passage of only a small quantity of dark-coloured urine 
each time. It may even be blood-stained or contain clots 
of blood (hsematuria). 

Miller, in his " Practice" of Surgery," says: "The renal 
source of the haemorrhage is known by the blood being 
diffused equally through the urine ; by the expelled fluid 
containing cylindrical portions of fibrine, like small 
worms — the result of coagula in the ureter — sometimes 
colourless and sometimes pale-pink ; by the appearance 
of blood, being preceded and accompanied by pain and 
heat in the loins, and other renal symptoms." 

Owing to the diminution in the amount of urine passed, 
dropsical conditions of other parts ensue. Constipation 
is present. Dogs walk with an unusual stiffness of the 
hind-legs, whilst bitches assume a crouching attitude as 
though about to urinate. Pain is caused by pressure 
over the loins or by palpation in the region of the 
kidneys, and the latter may be found to be enlarged. 
Vomiting is often observed at the outset, and the dog 
loses all desire for food, if such has not already been lost. 

Examination of Urine. — The urine, if examined, will be 
found turbid, of increased specific gravity, and containing 
an excess of albumin, some red and white blood 
corpuscles, or white alone, and tube-casts, the discovery 
of which should assure the investigator that some kidney 
disease exists. 



SYMPTOMS 129 

Symptoms in the later stages would be those of sub- 
normal temperature, weak thin pulse, probably diarrhoea, 
and in fatal cases suppression of urine, convulsions, 
coma, and death. If resolution is taking place, the 
amount of urine passed will gradually increase to normal, 
and it will be clearer and contain fewer foreign bodies. 

If the nephritis is of a diffuse chronic type, the kidney 
becomes small, cystic, nodulated, and adherent to its 
capsule. The interstitial tissue is increased, and vessel 
walls and Malpighian corpuscles thickened. The amount 
of urine voided will be increased ; it will be pale in 
colour, and will contain albumin and casts, though a 
smaller amount of the former than in acute nephritis. 
The pulse will be hard and full at first, perhaps becoming 
weak and accelerated as the disease progresses, and 
when the latter occurs the urine passed will be again 
diminished and darker in colour, and death may eventu- 
ally result from uraemia, or the pressure on vital organs 
produced by generalised dropsy {anasarca). Nephritis, 
although grave, is not necessarily fatal in dogs, though 
its early diagnosis is essential in order that certain 
medicinal agents and foods which would prove harmful 
may be avoided. 

It is common enough, in post-mortems made upon aged 
dogs which have died from natural causes, to find exten- 
sive kidney disease which during life was never suspected, 
and which never appeared to have disturbed the dog's 
health in any way. 

Cystitis. — Distension and inflammation of the bladder 
are quite common in distemper, especially when nervous 
complications are also present. Retention of urine is, 
in such cases, probably occasioned by weakness of the 
muscular coats of the bladder due to chronic catarrh 
or paralysis. Cystitis may be caused by extension of 
inflammatory processes from the kidneys or ureters, or 

9 



130 



CANINE DISTEMPER 



by infection with various micro-organisms, particularly 
the pyogenic cocci, and the B. coli communis. Animals 
which have become greatly debilitated, or which are 
in the last stages of a fatal attack of distemper, very 
frequently exhibit cystitis upon post-mortem examina- 
tion. The condition is often unnoticed in life ; indeed, 
it is fairly effectually cloaked by the symptoms arising 




Fig. 14. — Passing the Catheter. 
The prepuce must first be drawn back. 

from the other numerous complications of the attack, 
unless severe in character. 

A dog may appear to void urine in an apparently 
normal manner throughout, never leading the attendant 
to suspect suppression or the necessity for passing a 
catheter; but upon autopsy great vesicular distension 
is not infrequently discovered. The urine passed is 
merely an overflow, the bladder being no longer able 



SYMPTOMS 



131 



to accommodate any increase, and sometimes rupture 
of the organ occurs with rapidly fatal results. The 
symptoms produced in cystitis are similar to those 
observed in nephritis, the animal making frequent 




Fig. 15. — Male Vesical Catheter. 

attempts at micturition, though passing, perhaps, only 
small quantities or even none at all. 

A moderate intermittent temperature may be recorded, 
and pain evinced on pressure of the flanks. Micturition 



Fig. 16. — Female Vesical Catheter. 

is always a painful process, and the animal sometimes 
cries out during its performance. A differential diagnosis 
may be arrived at by testing the urine and noting the 
absence of tube casts and albumin; by observing also 




Fig. 17. 



-Urine of a Dog with Cystitis, showing Cocci, 
Crystals, and Epithelial Cells. 
(MuUer and Glass, " Diseases of the Dog.") . 



that the urine rapidly ferments and develops an ammo- 
niacal odour. The microscope will also reveal the 
presence of crystals of phosphates, numerous bacteria, 
epithelial cells, and, in rare cases, uric acid crystals. 
The malady is usually a curable one, though recur- 



132 CANINE DISTEMPER 

rences are not infrequent under conditions which favour 
them. Failure to detect and treat distension of the 
bladder will lead to a loss of its contractile power, and 
symptoms of incontinence may then be manifested, which 
for this and other reasons may endure for months, and, 
in the case of an old dog, perhaps for the remainder of 
its lifetime. 

Hydrocephalus. — This sequel is rarely seen, though it is 
known to have followed distemper. Frohner reported 
having diagnosed it in only twenty-nine cases out of 
seventy thousand dogs which passed through his hands 
in Berlin. The dog becomes a complete idiot, pro- 
gressing with a staggering gait, holding the head to one 
side, staring stupidly at objects it encounters, hiding in 
dark corners, listless and defective in sight and scent, 
and presenting a pathetic picture of its former self. 
Sometimes large amounts of fluid are found in the lateral 
ventricles of the brain on post-mortem examination. 

It will be realised from a consideration of these mani- 
fold symptoms how completely the whole body may 
sometimes be implicated in this dread disease, and 
yet at others how extraordinarily benign the attack 
may be. 



CHAPTER IX 
COURSE, PROGNOSIS AND MORTALITY 

COURSE. 

To attempt to define, with any degree of precision, the 
course which distemper will run, would only mislead the 
reader and misstate the actual facts; but in the great 
majority of those cases which recover, the disease will 
run its course in three to four weeks from the onset 
of symptoms. There are, however, so many factors 
which influence both the prolongation and termination 
of the malady that variations from the rule are frequent, 
and one can never be sure at the beginning what time 
must elapse before the end. 

Some cases seem so mild as almost to escape attention. 
Thus, beyond a slight indisposition with an occasional 
cough, nothing more is observed, and the animal has 
regained its normal health inside of seven days. At 
other times a dog appears to contract a virulent attack, 
to which he may succumb in three days or even less. 
The vitality of the animal at the time of infection plays an 
important part, for where his natural defensive powers 
are good he will probably only take the disease in a 
mild degree, and recovery may be complete within about 
a fortnight. If, on the other hand, he is debilitated from 
any cause, his body will be unable to withstand the 
invasion of pathogenic organisms, which, meeting with 
little or no resistance, are enabled to multiply at an 
alarming rate. 

Secondary comphcations supervene rapidly one on the 
other, and the dog is soon in the throes of a sickness 

133 



134 CANINE DISTEMPER 

which may drag on for several weeks or even two or three 
months. It is regarded, I think pretty generally, that 
not only a lengthy course but also a fatal termination 
may be ascribed entirely to the secondary infections. 
Thus, the nature of these infections and the virulence 
and dose of their causal organisms will materially affect 
the length of time during which an animal may remain ill. 

Where nervous symptoms are evinced, these may 
remain long after all other traces of distemper have 
entirely disappeared ; in fact, paralysis and chorea some- 
times persist during the remainder of the dog's lifetime. 

In cases which are complicated with a severe attack of 
pneumonia, one would not expect to find complete resolu- 
tion in less than five or six weeks, which period may 
frequently be extended into three months. 

PROGNOSIS. 

One can never be too guarded in forecasting the 
probable termination of an attack of such a treacherous 
disease as distemper, for however benign the attack may 
appear to be there is always a possibility of the sudden 
appearance of very severe complications, which may 
carry off the patient at short notice. 

Generally the prognosis is unfavourable, owing to the 
high mortality, and optimism as to the result should 
never be indulged in. Cases complicated with catarrhal 
pneumonia or nervous symptoms must always be re- 
garded very seriously, and the dangers are increased as 
the intensity of these symptoms is accentuated. 

Prognosis is usually more hopeful when the animal 
attacked is fairly mature— say six to twelve months of 
age— a mongrel, or one of the hardier breeds used to 
taking plenty of exercise, such as the Irish or fox-terrier, 
Sealyham, Airedale, etc. Delicate breeds and very young 



COURSE, PROGNOSIS AND MORTALITY 135 

pups are far less able to withstand the infection, and 
they succumb in greater proportion. 

Dogs habitually fed on an artificial diet, which includes 
very little or no meat, may also be expected to suffer in 
greater degree than those living on flesh. Pneumonic 
lesions are undoubtedly present in the majority of cases, 
and on account of the liability to extensive pulmonary 
solidification or oedema, must be considered as very 
grave. 

A sudden and marked drop in temperature, unaccom- 
panied by any diminution of the distressing symptoms, is 
to be looked upon as an exceedingly sinister phenomenon ; 
and conversely, where a sustained high temperature 
supersedes upon what in the beginning was a normal or 
nearly normal temperature, it is a serious indication of 
the development or incidence of a grave complication 
connected perhaps with the lungs, nervous system, or 
alimentary tract. 

Whilst the nervous manifestations usually arise late in 
the disease, convulsions are nevertheless sometimes seen 
in the early stages, when they are not regarded quite so 
seriously, especially if the fits are few in number. When, • 
however, they appear towards the end of the malady, 
prognosis becomes more than ever doubtful, death being 
a too frequent termination. 

Chorea is not necessarily lethal, but it often renders an 
animal so useless and miserable that an owner prefers to 
have the dog destroyed rather than witness its evident 
distress. Youatt remarks : " One fit is a serious thing ; 
if it is followed by a second within a day or two the 
chances of cure are diminished, and if they rapidly 
succeed each other, the dog is almost always lost." 

In some cases the nervous symptoms are succeeded by 
general paralysis and death in a state of coma ; death is 
then probably produced by paralysis of the brain. 



136 CANINE DISTEMPER 

It is a much more favourable sign to see resolution 
effected gradually rather than suddenly, for frequently 
when a spontaneous cessation of pulmonary, intestinal, 
or other symptoms is observed, such apparent rapid 
improvement may unhappily be followed by the onset of 
the graver nervous phenomena, indicating a transference 
of the disease by metastasis to the brain. 

Change in the weather exerts an undoubted influence 
on animals affected with distemper, for not infrequently 
what had promised to be a favourable case will become 
an acute one at the onset of adverse climatic conditions ; 
therefore patients must as far as possible be kept in an 
equable temperature, and protected against all such 
atmospheric changes. 

The presence or absence of marked emaciation is a 
very important factor in connection with the prognosis, 
for where an animal is greatly emaciated, little or no 
hope can be held out of its recovery. Profuse and 
persistent purgation will rapidly produce such a condi- 
tion, and for this reason must be regarded with great 
apprehension. On the other hand, let the diarrhoea 
be ever so violent, if the animal's bodily condition can 
be sustained, one may feel tolerably confident of the 
possibility of recovery. Other severe symptoms may 
even abate, yet if the loss of flesh be unremitting, the 
termination will be invariably fatal. 

The onset of jaundice portends great evil, and dimin- 
ishes the prospects of recovery to practically nil. The 
dog falls away more in twenty-four hours than would 
have been thought possible ; his bowels are obstinately 
constipated ; he will neither eat nor move, and in two or 
three days he is dead. 

Caries of the ethmoid or turbinate bones, as evidenced 
by a foul-smelling sanious and darkened nasal secretion ; 
a singular foetid odour emanating from the dog ; the faecal 



COURSE, PROGNOSIS AND MORTALITY 137 

matter consisting solely of blood and mucus with an un- 
bearably evil smell ; sunken eyes, and the vomition of a 
putrid brown-coloured fluid, are all conditions which lead 
one to predict with fair certainty the hopelessness of 
the case. 

Some writers consider the appearance of pustular 
lesions occurring late in the disease as a grave sign, 
whilst others regard it as particularly favourable, 
Youatt giving as his reason that " the disease is leaving 
the vital parts and expending its last energy on the 
integument." Personally I attach no significance what- 
ever to the cutaneous symptoms, these being usually 
absent, or, when present, seeming to affect the course of 
the malady very little either one way or the other. 
I Perhaps, on the whole, I can remember more cases 
which have recovered than which have not, among 
those dogs whose skins were implicated, though what 
influence the exanthema exerted, or could exert, I cannot 
say. 

In distemper, as in everjr other disease, relapses are to 
be feared, for whilst a patient may emerge safely from the 
initial attack, death is very often the sequel to a second 
infection. It must not be forgotten that although an 
animal may reach the stage of resolution, it is neverthe- 
less still liable to become a subject of one or other of the 
secondary complications — or rather, sequelae — such as 
chorea, paralysis, epilepsy, etc., even as late as several 
months afterwards; so it becomes apparent that the 
versatility of this treacherous disease must baffle, from 
beginning to end, all attempts at prognostication, leaving 
us as dubious at last as we were at first. 



138 CANINE DISTEMPER 

MORTALITY. 

True to the characteristic variability which marks this 
disease from every aspect, the death-rate fluctuates, 
being greater in some seasons or in some outbreaks than 
in others, and less in country districts than in large cities. 
The average mortality may be assessed at 25 per cent. 
Muller and Glass estimate it as between 60 and 70 
per cent, in big cities, and at 20 to 30 per cent, elsewhere ; 
Youatt computes it at 33 per cent. ; Millais, 60 to 90 
per cent., and of the highly-bred, 90 per cent. ; Gray, 
25 per cent. ; Ferry, 90 per cent, among pure-bred dogs 
in New York, and 60 to 80 per cent, among ordinary 
street mongrels ; Friedberger and Frohner, 50 to 60 
per cent. 

These discrepancies arise doubtless from the fact that 
some of these authorities have based their figures upon 
the results of certain epizootic outbreaks of a virulent 
type, whilst others have probably taken an average spread 
over many years of practice, thus embracing sporadic 
cases in addition to those of epizootic origin. I do not 
think any general practitioner to-day will estimate the 
death-rate higher than approximately 25 per cent. 

The age and breed of animals affected exert a strong 
influence on mortality, very young puppies or aged 
adults being far more apt to die than animals between 
the ages of four and twelve months and up to five or six 
years. Similarly, highly-bred animals, and those exotic 
to a country, will perish in much greater proportion than 
the common mongrel or indigenous breeds. Among the 
latter again we find some breeds are more highly resistant 
than others, such as fox-terriers, bull-terriers, Irish 
terriers, Airedales, spaniels, setters, etc., in which prob- 
ably only about 17 per cent, of cases prove fatal. Collie 
dogs, however, appear to be peculiarly susceptible to 



COURSE, PROGNOSIS AND MORTALITY 139 

lethal attacks, as also do Alsatian wolfhounds, borzois, 
greyhounds, and Japanese spaniels. 

Other influences adversely affecting mortality are 
changeable weather, the frequently virulent type of 
infection prevaihng, and habitual improper feeding — 
such as a diet of bread, vegetable, and biscuit. 

Blaine correctly observed : "Wherever man has inter- 
fered in forcing an artificial breed, and in maintaining 
and perfecting a degree of forced excellence, there the 
disease is almost always severe. . . . Some breeds 
possess an hereditary tendency to have it worse than 
others of the same kind ; litter after litter of some sport- 
ing strains will hardly yield more than one or two sur- 
vivors. In such a case I would advise the breeder to 
cross the race, or to altogether try a new one." 

Where death is the termination to an attack, the direct 
cause may be attributed to Cerebral paralysis, oedema of 
the lungs, pyaemia, septicaemia, or exhaustion. 



/ 



CHAPTER X 

MORBID ANATOMY 

The lesions which may be encountered upon post-mortem 
examination ar«- very numerous and varied, and whilst 
in a few isolated cases little or nothing will be found 
commensurate with the severe conditions established, 
yet in many others such a combination of lesions will 
be discovered as to force one, perhaps, to wonder how 
the dog could have survived so long. Pathological 
changes are mostly confined to the respiratory and ali- 
mentary tracts, although other organs are by no means 
infrequently implicated in addition. 

Respiratory Lesions — Lungs. — In nearly all cases, the 
lungs are affected to greater or less degree, and the 
organs found to be darker in colour, consolidated in 
their lower third, two-thirds, or even in toto, and exerting 
a resistance to the knife when cut into. One or both 
lungs may be implicated, and areas of congestion may 
be noticeable on their surface. Sometimes haemorrhagic 
spots are visible all over the organs ; in other cases 
these are absent. 

Lobular pneumonia is the type usually occurring in cases 
of distemper, and the whole lung is rarely affected, the 
inflammatory foci being localised in small areas, which 
later may coalesce and extend over the inferior third or 
half of the lung. The diseased part is hard and firm to 
the touch, airless, dull red in colour, and rather more 
prominent than the adjacent sound tissue. Section of the 
part produces a frothy, sanious, or brownish-coloured 
thick exudate, especially if pressure is exerted. 

140 



MORBID ANATOMY 141 

The inflamed areas occasionally contain centres of 
suppuration, from which copious pus will exude upon 
incision. The small bronchi and bronchioles contain a 
frothy greyish or even blood-stained pus which mechani- 
cally impedes the entrance and egress of inspired air, 
and assists in the production of dyspnoea. 

In some cases, particularly in puppies, the lungs 
become swolkn or generally enlarged, darker, very 
moist and prominent, and a serous exudate flows from 
the cut surface in great quantity. This is the condition 
of oedema, which consists in extravasation of serum from 
the blood-vessels into the alveoli, bronchioli, and bronchi, 
which it almost completely fills, thus excluding large 
portions of the lung from free circulation of blood and 
air, and producing in fatal cases cyanosis and death from 
asphyxia in from twelve to twenty-four hours. 

As death approaches, profuse discharges of this 
liquid (rendered opaque by admixture with pus, and 
pink or red from the presence of erythrocytes) escape 
from the nostrils, an abundance of it also being found 
whipped to foam in the trachea. 

Pleura. — More or less serous exudate may be present 
in the thoracic cavity, particularly where pleurisy has 
been a complication ; and those portions of the pleura 
which cover the affected lung often become the seat of 
pathological change. The membrane may only show a 
roughening on its surface, or it may be covered with 
fibrinous lymph, which may cause the visceral pleura to 
adhere to the parietal, though this is rare. Congestion 
of the parietal pleura is sometimes observed, and it may 
even show a lymph deposit. 

The nature and colour of the exudate found in the 
pleural cavity will depend upon the acuteness and type 
of the pulmonary disease ; thus it may be haemorrhagic, 
purulent, putrid and greenish, or serous. 



142 CANINE DISTEMPER 

Bronchial Lymphatic Glands. — The bronchial lymphatic 
glands are not much increased in size, if at all, but 
frequently the cut surface is black or dark red ; some- 
times they contain pus and may be enlarged. 

Trachea and Bronchi. — The trachea and bronchi do 
not commonly show any striking lesions, except, in a 
few instances, petechise; they do, however, frequently 
contain a frothy mucus, or a muco-purulent or blood- 
stained material, or both. The same may be said of 
the small bronchi, which, in addition, show a large 
amount of swelling and congestion of the mucous 
membrane. Ecchymoses or haemorrhagic ulcers may 
also be present, and in the acutest cases all these 
conditions may be observed throughout the respiratory 
tract. 

Larynx. — The larynx is usually found to be slightly 
inflamed, and may even be suppurating. 

Nasal Mucous Membrane. — Petechial spots or ulcers 
are seen, in a minority of cases, on the nasal mucous 
membrane ; at other times it is merely injected and 
purple in colour, or it may be pale and anaemic in ap- 
pearance. Usually it is coated with an exudate of vary- 
ing consistence,, and where haemorrhages or ulcers are 
present it will be sanious. This exudate is commonly 
yellow, and has a peculiar sticky property, which causes 
it to glue up the npstrils and cake around them in dry, 
hard crusts, which in turn frequently set up irritation 
or ulceration and impede respiration. Inflammation is 
very prone to attack the membranous lining of the nasal 
bones, and particularly the nasal portion of the ethmoid 
bone. 

Alimentary Lesions — Ileum and Rectum. — In the diges- 
tive system we find the most common seats of patho- 
logical change to be the ileum and rectum, the c^cum 
and remainder of the bowel sometimes being also 



MORBID ANATOMY 143 

involved. ' The mucous membrane of the two portions 
of intestine first mentioned may be found in a dry, cor- 
rugated condition, the ridges being highly inflamed and 
infiltrated with haemorrhages, very similar to the condi- 
tion seen in swine fever and rinderpest. 

Intestines Generally. — Streaks of intense congestion 
may also be observed in other parts of the small or 
large intestine, but in most cases to a lesser extent. 
The entire intestinal mucous membrane is very swollen, 
tender, and pale, and the bowel lumen may be full 
of a thick, creamy mucus. If there are scattered 
haemorrhages or ulcers, this material will be tinted a 
rosy pink, and, rarely, may be of a blood-red colour 
or contain pure blood. Faeces are usually absent. No 
change is noticed as a rule in the Peyer's patches, 
though they may be oedematous. 

Anus. — I have frequently known the rectum and anus 
to be intensely inflamed, in which case attention is 
always attracted to the condition in life, when attempting 
to pass the thermometer. 

Surgical Conditions. — Surgical conditions such as in- 
tussusception and prolapse of the rectum are infrequent, 
but when they occur they are often a prelude to a fatal 
termination. 

Stomach. — The stomach, although irritable during the 
animal's life, is found on post-mortem to be v&vy little 
changed. Sometimes, however, the gastric mucosa is 
slightly injected and swollen, especially towards the 
pyloric extremity. The corrugation or contraction, 
occasionally noticed, of the mucous membrane of the 
stomach and intestines is a condition consequent upon 
generalised emaciation brought about by sustained and 
profuse purgation. 

Abdominal Lymphatic Glands. — Occasionally, though 
rarely, suppuration may be observed in one or other of 



lU CANINE DISTEMPER 

the abdominal lymphatic glands. The latter may be 
oedematous or haemorrhagic, but on the whole seem to 
be very little altered. 

Peritoneum. — I have so far encountered no case in 
which peritonitis has played any part, and although it 
has been- known, it is rare. Nevertheless, a serous 
straw-coloured exudate is ■ found not infrequently in 
small quantity in the peritoneal cavity, and this may on 
occasion assume the colour of bitter ale. 

Liver. — The liver is generally found to be normal, but 
where diseased conditions have arisen, they are of the 
nature of hyperaemia (congestion) or parenchymatous 
hepatitis. In the first case a stagnating hyperaemia may 
be produced in consequence of the weakening of the 
heart's action, or of extensive pulmonary disease. The 
liver is then greatly enlarged, very hard, and overfull of 
darkened blood, the cut surface sometimes presenting a 
mottled appearance (nutmeg liver). In hepatitis we find 
the organ large, soft, and friable, no difficulty being 
encountered in pushing one's finger through its substance. 
Its colour is dark red in the early stages, becoming later 
of a clay tint, and the organ possibly smaller in volume. 
It then looks like liver which has been boiled or 
macerated. 

Bile Ducts. — V\[herejaundice has been a complication, the 
mouth of the bile duct is frequently found closed, in con- 
sequence either of catarrh of its mucous membrane, or of 
swelling of the intestines in its immediate vicinity. In 
this contingency the gall-bladder is tensely full and its 
contents thicker than normal, or even semi-solid. Very 
little swelling is required to obstruct the bile ducts, those 
in the dog being so very minute, and when bile is unable 
to flow into the intestines it eventually enters the lym- 
phatic system of the liver and gains the blood stream via 
the thoracic duct. 



MORBID ANATOMY 145 

This stagnation of bile no doubt accounts for the 
yellow staining of tissues adjacent to the gall-bladder, 
the biliary fluid having transuded through the coats of 
the latter under pressure. This localised staining is 
repeatedly seen on post-mortem examination of a dis- 
tempered carcase, even in the absence of generalised 
icteric staining, but it is quite conceivable that sufficient 
obstruction could have taken place to force the bile to 
deviate locally from its normal path without setting up a 
well-established jaundice marked by a general dis- 
coloration of the body tissues. 

Some authors have considered it a post-mortem change, 
a view which seems to be negatived by the fact that 
the condition can sometimes be observed upon open- 
ing the carcase very soon after death. All tissues 
of the body except the nerves, brain substance, and 
spinal cord, then become stained with the character- 
istic yellow colour of icterus. The liver itself may 
be any shade between yellow and dark brown, and, 
owing to irregular staining, may possess a mottled 
appearance. 

Buccal Lesions. — In true distemper it is rare to find 
ulcerative lesions on the buccal mucous membranes; these, 
however, appear constantly in the allied complaint 
known as Stuttgart disease, in which, also, a necrosis 
and gangrene of the tongue are observed. 

Gums. — The gums at their junction with the teeth are 
often injected and may be made to bleed quite easily. 
The mouth is of a purple colour, at one time dry and at 
another covered with a slimy, foul, stringy or haemor- 
rhagic saliva. 

Tonsils. — Swollen, red, or purple-coloured tonsils are 
seen in a few instances, and in malignant distemper they 
may be coated with a diphtheritic deposit which also 
involves the larynx, pharynx, fauces, and soft palate. All 



146 CANINE DISTEMPER 

these several organs may be oedematous, ulcerated, or 
ecchymosed. 

Salivary Glands, etc.— The salivary and lymphatic 
glands of this region are not usually implicated, though 
swellings and suppurations have in rare cases been 
observed. 

Heart.— The heart is not often the seat of pathological 
change, and the most one usually observes is injection 
of the vessels of the epicardium and pericardium, with 
moderate quantities of serous fluid in the pericardial sac. 
The auricles and ventricles, however, are frequently filled 
with black, tarry, blood clots, especially in the acute 
septicsemic types of distemper. 

Kidneys. — The kidneys seldom become diseased to any 
great extent in consequence of distemper, and it is only 
occasionally that one discovers at autopsy an enlarge- 
ment or shrinkage in size, softness or hardness, intense 
red or pale colour, the presence or absence of haemor- 
rhagic spots on its surface or cortex, and an easily detach- 
able capsule or one tenaciously attached. More fre- 
quently one finds a moderate hyperasmia or congestion 
which may in some cases have developed into nephritis. 
The type of nephritis most commonly associated with 
distemper is a chronic catarrhal condition in which the 
kidney is reduced somewhat in size, its capsule is more 
firmly adherent, and its cut surface shows a pale cortex 
in sharp contrast with a reddened medulla. 

Muscles. — The muscles are usually wasted, and the fat 
seems to set imperfectly and remain soft and wet. 

Central Nervous System. — Much attention has been 
bestowed upon the nervous system, microscopical and 
histological investigations having revealed various con- 
ditions which may be summarily described as follows : 

Kolesnikoff discovered an infiltration by leucocytes of 
the brain substance and vessel walls, and a distension of 



MORBID ANATOMY 147 

arterioles and capillaries with red and white blood cells. 
Krajewski confirmed these observations and noticed also 
that the spaces adjacent to the blood-vessels were filled 
with lymphoid cells, even in animals showing no nervous 
symptoms prior to death. In acute nervous distemper 
Dexter and Mazulewitsch found changes in the vessel 
walls, the latter being surrounded by an albuminous 
exudate, which also invaded the interstitial tissue of the 
grey matter of the spinal cord ; in chronic distemper they 
observed a localised interstitial myelitis, with partial 
atrophy of the spinal cord. Hadden found accumulations 
of blood corpuscles in it, and Trasbot recorded that acute 
cases were accompanied by a considerable injection of the 
cord and its membranes with a sero-fibrinous exudate in 
and beneath the arachnoid, and even in the cord substance. 

In a dog affected with chorea as a sequel to distemper, 
Carougeau noted an infiltration of leucocytes in the grey 
matter of the entire cord, especially in the anterior horn, 
which observations were confirmed by Bohl and Rexter. 
Little or no deviation from normal is often the macro- 
scopic observation at autopsy, but many cases arise 
in which the membranes of the brain are found highly 
charged with dark -coloured blood, especially when 
epileptic fits have accompanied the disease. 

There may even be a softening of the brain substance, 
with flattening of, the convolutions, and a considerable 
effusion of serum into the ventricles. Blaine was of 
opinion that universal paratysis owed its origin to a 
morbid increase of the fluid in the ventricles of the 
brain. 

The spinal cord as a rule appears normal, but in rare 
cases its sheath will be unusually vascular, softer in con- 
sistence, and suffused with more or less serous fluid. 

Blood. — The blood may be deficient in quantity or 
quality, or even hydraemic, but in cases associated with 



148 CANINE DISTEMPER 

some amount of septicaemia — and these are quite 
frequent— the blood takes on a greasy, very dark, non- 
coagulating, tarry appearance, and multiple extravasations 
will be found in various organs throughout the body. 

S//^ew.— No swellings or alterations of the spleen 
have been observed in distemper, except in the rarest 
cases. 

Carcase. — As regards the carcase, one finds it usually 
emaciated, evil-smelling, and quickly decomposing; rigor 
mortis sets in as usual, though it is not so marked in 
septicaemic cases. The skin may be scaly or scabbed 
from the presence of pustules or bed-sores, the hair is 
readily detached, and it may be stained yellow if there is 
any degree of jaundice. 

Eyes. — The eyes are sunken in their sockets owing to 
the reduction of orbital fat by metabolism, and they are 
occasionally the seat of more or less diseased processes 
varying from simple corneal opacities to panophthalmitis 
(see p. 98). The conjunctiva is sometimes deeply in- 
jected ; at others it is pale and anaemic, or it may be of a 
purple hue. Where much ocular discharge has been in 
evidence, the skin beneath the eyes will probably be 
found denuded of hair, or covered with crusts, owing to 
the depilatory action of the discharges. 

The following combination of lesions makes a very 
typical picture of a dog dead of distemper, as revealed 
on post-mortem examination : 

Congestion of the lungs, with areas of hepatisation ; 
inflammation of the fauces and larynx ; myocardial 
petechiae ; congestion of pericardium ; acute localised 
enteritis ; slight gastritis ; haemorrhages from mesenteric 
vessels, spleen and kidneys ; slight enlargement of liver 
and mesenteric glands ; congestion of kidneys ; much 
peritoneal blood-stained effusion ; no macroscopic brain 
lesions ; cystic congestion and distension. 



MORBID ANATOMY 149 

This was the result of my most recent autopsy, on 
a fox-terrier, whose symptoms were : Temperature, 
103° F. ; cough slight ; moderately increased respira- 
tions ; little or no conjunctival or nasal discharge ; 
profuse diarrhoea ; occasional vomiting ; great thirst ; 
no appetite ; great dullness ; rigors ; and convulsions, 
followed by coma and death. 



CHAPTER XI 

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS 

To diagnose a case of distemper in its early stages is 
frequently very difficult for the clinician, unless he is 
given some history of recent contact — direct or in- 
direct — with a confirmed case of distemper in the neigh- 
bourhood. Failing this, he must either await the onset of 
some one or more of the typical symptoms or judge the 
case on its merits. For instance, should the animal 
be a puppy living in or near a town, or be constantly 
associated with dog-breeders or people attending dog 
shows, or have recently come from a dogs' home or 
dog bureau, the practitioner would have reason to be 
more than usually suspicious of the malady he had to 
deal with. 

I regard it now as an infallible rule (and advise its 
universal adoption) to treat any of the following devia- 
tions from health as distemper, until such time as it can 
be proved they have no connection with it. 

Early Warnings of Distemper. — An unwillingness to 
play or feed, malaise, shivering, thirst, unusual desire to 
sleep, and to be as close to warmth as possible, vomiting, 
an eruption on the hairless parts of the body, slight 
diarrhoea, indurated mucus in the corner of the eyes, 
slight huskiness, or the occurrence of fits ; any of these 
conditions, either individually or combined, should lead 
one to suspect distemper, and (for safety's sake) to isolate 
the animal, until time has been allowed for the appear- 
ance of more pronounced and diagnostic symptoms, or 
until the primary indisposition has passed entirely away. 

ISO 



DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS 151 

The temperature, unless raised, does not much faciHtate 
a diagnosis, as frequently it remains practically normal for 
some considerable time, and absence of temperature 
should not therefore be allowed to dispel one's fears or 
suspicions. 

As it sometimes occurs that a dog may suffer from a 
very benign or almost unnoticeable attack of distemper, 
it is a wise plan to continue isolation for a fortnight 
where practicable, as this not only mitigates the risk of 
contagion to other dogs from the convalescent one, but 
also gives time for the appearance of a second and more 
severe manifestation of symptoms, as often happens. 

A diagnosis is arrived at with great facility when 
several other dogs which have been in contact are noticed 
to be also ailing; and little doubt need be entertained when 
once a characteristic group of advanced symptoms has 
been exhibited. 1 have known cases in which little or 
nothing was apparently wrong with the animal except 
ulcerative keratitis, though this has usually been later 
followed by other typical symptoms which made the 
nature of the disease clear. 

Dog owners should no longer permit themselves to be 
lulled into a sense of false security when told their dogs 
are merely suffering from a chill. They should realise 
what a I deadly and insidious disease distemper really is, 
and they would be well advised to regard with the 
utmost suspicion every sign which is known to be an 
early warning of this malady. 

Diseases confounded with Distemper. — There are several 
diseases which may be mistaken for distemper, among 
the more prominent being Stuttgart disease (or canine 
typhus), tuberculosis, epilepsy, rabies, mange, and the 
many primary catarrhal disorders, such as conjunctivitis, 
rhinitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, gastritis, en- 
teritis, cystitis, hepatitis and nephritis, etc., all of which 



152 CANINE distemper' 

may arise sporadically from causes distinctly dissociated 
from those of specific distemper. 

Stuttgart Disease.— The outstanding features of Stutt- 
gart disease are the ulceration, necrosis, and gangrene of 
the edges and free anterior portion of the tongue, the 
acute gastro-enteritis, and high mortality — 60 to 80 per 
cent. It is comparatively rare to find ulcers of the 
tongue in distemper, and still rarer to see necrotic or gan- 
grenous lesions, whilst the enteritis is practically always 
accompanied by pulmonary or some other classical symp- 
toms of distemper. In canine typhus there is always a 
marked and persistent vomiting (which is frequently 
absent in distemper), followed in a day or two by extreme 
lethargy, which in distemper does not usually supervene 
until a very late stage. The temperature in Stuttgart 
disease is practically normal throughout ; there is no 
cough and no ocular or nasal discharges ; young animals 
are less susceptible, and when attacked, seem to siiflFer 
less severely than old ones, and the disease mostly runs 
an acute course, death taking place in four or five 
days. 

Tubepculosis.^-Tuberculosis may be mistaken for dis- 
temper on account of the chronic pneumonia or bronchial 
catarrh present, combined with a gradually increasing 
emaciation, and diarrhoea ; but tubercle in the dog runs 
a very prolonged chronic course and there is always a 
history of slight cough which has been long in existence 
and is aggravated by exertion. The temperature, too, is 
irregular — at one time raised, and at another normal-— or 
it may be increased by one or two degrees at night. 

Sputum is rarely expelled, as the dog usually swallows 
it, but its microscopic examination would probably reveal 
the presence of acid-fast tubercle baciHi. 
' The diarrhoea of tuberculosis sets in, as a rule, towards 
the' termination of the disease, by which time emaciation 



DIFFERENTIAt DIAGN6SIS 153 

is so raarke'd that the animal is nothing but a -weak 
skeleton ; there- are no ocular or nasal discharges-;--and 
none- of the typical nervous symptoms of distemper. ^ ~ 

Where the investigator fails to demonstrate tuMr'cte 
bacilli in any discharges or serous fluids, diagnosis inay 
be attempted by applying the "tuberculin test,", pre- 
ferably in the morning, and noting the changes of tem- 
perature hourly during the day, and if possible until 
twenty-four hours have elapsed. The dose of tuberculin 
for a dog is ^ to i cubic centimetre injected subcu- 
taneously inside the thigh. The results, however, are 
not always reliable, and perhaps a better and more con- 
venient method of testing is by the use of ophthalmic 
tuberculin, wherein from one to two drops of this 
medium are brought in contact with the conjunctival sac. 
If the animal is tuberculous a reaction will be manifest 
in from seven to twelve hours, consisting of the develop- 
ment of conjunctivitis with profuse lachrymation and pUs 
formation. 

Epilepsy. — The causes of true epilepsy appear to be so 
far unknown, and no lesions have been discovered in the 
brain to account for it. It is believed to be hereditary, 
and may occur at any period of life. True epilepsy is 
frequently confounded with the sj'mptomatic variety 
arising from wasting diseases, and it would be a very 
difficult matter indeed to differentiate between the 
epileptiform convulsions associated with distemper -and 
those pertaining to idiopathic epilepsy. The former, how- 
ever, are usually much more acute and are accompanied 
by other recognised distemper symptoms, the develop- 
ment of which must be our guide in. diagnosis. 

Rabies. — The symptoms of cerebral irritation com- 
plicating distemper- have frequently been mistaken for 
rabies, and many dogs have iii the 'past been sadrificed. 
as rabid when suffering only from epilepsy. 



154 CANINE DISTEMPER 

When a layman sees a dog in the street or elsewhere 
writhing in a fit or rushing about with a foaming mouth, 
quite oblivious to all its surroundings or the presence of 
its master, and, maybe, biting at any object in its path, 
he might perhaps be excused for concluding the dog is 
mad; but if the dog has had a fit, this fact alone dis- 
proves the presence of rabies, as no epilepsy is ever 
observed in that disease. 

In dumb rabies we notice a deep depression and 
paralysis of the lower jaw, followed by death in three or 
four days ; in the furious type there is great nervousness 
and restlessness, snapping of the jaws, and desire to eat 
■hard foreign bodies (depraved appetite) or gnaw chair 
legs (and human legs if permitted) or other objects. 
This deliberate aggressive behaviour of rabid animals is, 
however, absent in distemper ; and in rabies there is 
also a complete absence of any of the various typical 
symptoms which usually appear in the former malady. 
Rabies is invariably fatal, death ensuing — after a period 
of general paralysis — in from three to seven days from 
the onset of symptoms. 

Mange. — When the cutaneous lesions of distemper 
have become extensive and coalesced, they may present 
an appearance somewhat resembling that of scabies. 
Nevertheless, the irritation set up by parasitic mange 
is decidedly more intense than any produced by the 
pustular eruption of distemper, nor does mange affect 
the abdomen and insides of the thighs, • except in the 
rarest instances. 

Further, scabies tends to spread gradually and become 
worse, thus differing from the exanthema of distemper, 
which, if it spreads at all, does so rapidly, and usually 
runs its course in about a week, then disappears. In folli- 
cular mange we do not find such intense pruritus, but the 
skin here becomes greatly thickened and corrugated, and 



DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS 155 

the disease starts at the head or toes. Since mange may, 
however, occur simultaneously with a distemper eruption, 
a diagnosis would be rendered definite upon the search 
for and demonstration of the causal parasites of mange. 

To state precisely whether one is dealing with dis- 
temper in its early stages or with a simple non-specific 
catarrh is a matter of impossibility, since distemper so 
frequently appears at its onset as a disease of perhaps 
only one organ, such as bronchitis or rhinitis, etc The 
previous history — if any — would have to be taken care- 
fully into account as before mentioned, after which we 
would need to await the development of some confirma- 
tory symptom, or microscopically examine the nasal 
discharge (if any) or a swab from the pharynx or larynx, 
for the purpose of demonstrating the presence of 
B. bronchisepticus — assuming this organism to be capable 
of setting up true distemper. 



. CHAPTER XII 
TREATMENT AND CONVALESCENCE- 
TREATMENT. 



I MAY State at the outset that there is absolutely no 
specific cure for distemper, as" no agent has yet been 
discovered possessing the property of killing the causal 
organism of this disease. Thus all the advertisements 
one reads of " sure remedies for the cure of distemper " 
must be regarded as calculated deliberately to deceive 
the public into buying concoctions which can no more 
perform what is claimed for them than can the bottles in 
which they are contained. 

Quack Remedies. — It is really surprising what faith 
some members of the community place in these quack 
nostrums, and withal rather pathetic to think of the poor 
sick dog being regularly dosed with them, irrespective of 
whether they are suited to his particular case or harmful. 
He is lucky in the possession of the power of voluntary 
eraesis. In view of the diversity of this disease, it must 
be obvious to all how impossible it is to expect to derive 
benefit from any one prescription. Each case must be 
treated on its merits, and since no specific therapeutic 
agent exists, one must necessarily treat the symptoms as 
they arise. 

All "doggy" persons appear to have their own pet 
quack remedy by which they swear, yet their dogs 
continue to die in about the same proportion as ever, 
and probably very often as a result of the treatment. 
Gray humorously remarked : " Even at the present time, 
we have those who believe in the virtue of a ' piece of 

156 



EMPIRICAL TREATMENT 157 

tarred string' tied round the neck; a 'bent halfpenny'; 
a daub of tar on the nose; Christian scientific treatment, 
and such-like humbug." ; - 

Waste of Valuable Time. — It is too true; but the sad 
part is that after these, doubtless well-meaning,' people 
have tried one remedy after another in their feverish 
anxiety to find a "cure," they eventually are forced to 
take their poor animal to a skilled canine practitioner 
for belated advice and assistance, by which time prob- 
ably it is nearly dead, or the disease is in such a very 
advanced stage that little can be done. It only too 
frequently happens that after all and sundry have tried 
their skill, and days or weeks have been wasted, the 
veterinary surgeon is expected to wield some mystic 
healing power in mitigation of the complaint. 

I cannot too strongly condemn the use of quack cure- 
all medicines, most particularl}'^ in cases of distemper, as 
when a practitioner is at last called in to prescribe he 
has no knowledge of what drug has already been 
administered, and is somewhat hampered in his choice of 
medicaments. The simplest prescriptions require some 
consideration of the animal's temperament, its physical 
condition, and its breeding, for drugs usually act with a 
greater precision on well-bred animals than upon those 
more coarsely bred. Some drugs would be diminished 
in quantity where an animal is weak or the subject of 
acute pyrexia; others would be withheld altogether; 
thus a quack nostrum administered to all and sundry 
without making a study of the patient is often calculated 
to do considerable harm. 

Mistaken Diagnosis. — Dog owners and others "in the 
know" frequently attempt to diagnose their dogs' ail- 
ments, and as frequently make irreparable blunders, 
such as mistaking distemper for " worms," then adminis- 
tering vermifuges and purgatives, or other drugs calcu- 



158 CANINE DISTEMPER 

lated to do far more harm than good in such a case. It 
would thus appear to be a far wiser course, certainly 
more humane, and probably cheaper in the end, to 
obtain the services of a skilled veterinary surgeon at the 
very beginning; one who is competent from his very 
training and .from long experience to give the best advice, 
and to prescribe the most adequate treatment for each 
particular case. 

Importance of Nursing. — Nursing plays an extremely 
important part in the successful treatment of distemper ; 
in fact, I often think many cases would progress as 
favourably without medicinal treatment as with it, pro- 
vided the hygienic and dietetic conditions were per- 
severed with, and sound in principle. Nevertheless we 
so often have to contend with such acute disturbances, 
that very humanity seems to demand that something 
shall be done to relieve the distressing symptoms. 

Hygienic Conditions. — For the purpose of description 
it will probably be more convenient to deal first with the 
question of the housing of the patient, for it is not one 
of the least important factors in our routine treatment. 
A bright, cheery, and clean environment is very desirable, 
for when an animal — no less than a human, being — 
becomes weak, exhausted, and depressed, it is often the 
word of encouragement, the cheery glow of its apartment, 
and the constant little attentions on the part of the nurse, 
which serve to remind the patient it is still alive, give 
it some temporarily renewed interest, and for a while 
help it to forget its pains and weariness — perhaps 
sufficiently long to bring it safely over the crisis. We 
know from painful experience, that where patients are 
left long alone, perhaps in the dark, or in evil sur- 
roundings, they lose heart, rapidly sink lower and lower, 
and die. 

Therefore let the room be light, clean, warm, and 



HYGIENIC TREATMENT 159 

absolutely dry, with all provision made against draughts, 
yet with an ample exchange of air. 

A room is by far the best accommodation for a dog 
suffering with distemper, as it is thereby allotted a 
sufficient cubic air space without being actually exposed 
to external air, and this is important in view of the 
frequency of lung complications in distemper. It is a 
popular fallacy that a patient which is the subject of 
pneumonia should be coddled up in a hot room with all 
doors and windows closed ; but never was there a 
greater mistake, for the more frequently fresh air can 
be substituted for used air the better, commensurate, 
of course, with the maintenance of an equable tem- 
perature and absence of draughts or swiftly moving 
currents. 

Litter. — Any litter may be strewn upon the floor for 
the purpose of absorbing urine and discharges, though 
wood-wool or wood chips are probably far better than 
sawdust, owing to the dusty, and therefore irritant, 
properties of the latter. There is a certain amount of 
antiseptic value in wood as a litter, on account of the 
resins and volatile oils contained. Further, when soiled 
it should, and can easily, be burnt. This material serves 
equally well for bedding, and is preferable to blankets or 
cushions, for whilst affording the necessary warmth, it 
does not harbour parasites and may be replaced cheaply 
when soiled. It is desirable that the box or other recep- 
tacle in which the dog is to lie should be slightly raised 
from the floor, as a currerlt of cold air frequently passes 
along the latter from the bottom of the door to the 
chimney. Rather than the box should be made wet by 
disinfecting, it should be replaced occasionally by a 
new one, thereby helping to rid the room of much of 
the unpleasant odour associated with cases of distemper. 

Room Temperature. — The temperature of the room 



160 CANINE DISTEMPER 

should not be too high, and the optimum will be found 
at about 60° F. It is a mistake to overheat the sick-room, 
as this only tends to make the patient more than ever 
susceptible to cold, and, in any case, is oppressive. It 
is equally bad practice to allow the fire, to go out upon 
the owner retiring at night, or to extinguish the gas or 
other heating: appliance, as the early^hours of thejmorn- 




FiG. 18.^ — Coat for Chest Protection in Lung Complications. 

ing are the coldest, and alternations of temperature are 
harmful. 

Clothing. — Generally I do not favour the application of 
clothing to dogs if the above conditions can be complied 
with ; but, if not, it might be deemed advisable to make 
a little jacket out of some soft, dry material, which would 
at least protect the chest from possible chill during in- 
clement weather. In order that such a jacket should be 
comfortable and efficient, two holes should be cut near 
the front edge of a square piece of material, through 



HYGIENIC TREATMENT 161 

which the front legs should be passed, the sides of the 
material being brought up over the back and fastened 
with safety-pins ; the front edges of the rnaterial should 
be joined with safety-pins, or stitched together over the 
breast, due care being taken to provide that it shall not 
be tight or tend to impede deglutition or respiration. 
(See Fig. i8.) 

Where counter-irritants have been applied to the chest 
for the relief of pulmonary symptoms, such a jacket will 
become essential, and, for the same purpose, Thermogene 




Fig. 19. — Inhalation of Steam. 
Arrangement of apparatus. 

wool can usefully be interposed between the chest walls 
and the clothing. 

Steam Kettle. — If dyspnoea is marked, much relief can 
be afforded by the use of a steam kettle arranged in such 
a manner that its vapour will arise in the vicinity of the 
dog's head. To a pint of water, a few drops of eucalyp- 
tus oil, tincture of benzoin, Sanitas, Jeyes' Fluid, or oil 
of turpentine, maybe added, which, when the water boils, 
will charge the atmosphere with a pleasant antiseptic 
inhalation having decided curative properties in- the 
catarrhal conditions of the respiratory organs. 

Removal of Discharges. — Great attention must be paid 
to the cleansing away of all discharges, particularly from 

II 



162 CANINE DISTEMPER 

the eyes, as, if this be not done at very frequent intervals, 
the eyehds become gummed together and the eyelashes 
stuck fast in the dried exudate which forms so rapidly in 
these cases, the eyes being not only rendered difficult to 
open, but serious complications to the eyeball being 
induced from the continued presence of irritating pus. 
Few conditions are so depressing to the spirits as a 
painful affection of that most tender of all organs, the 
eye, and, if only in consideration of the animal's suffer- 
ing, we must at least take pains to remove all purulent 
accumulations, bathe and soothe the parts with warm 
antiseptic solutions (particularly hydrogen peroxide), 
dry them, and then anoint the edges of the lids with a 
suitable ointment which will asepticise and prevent 
sticking. (See under "Eyes," p. 177.) 

Similarly the nostrils must be wiped at the same time, 
to prevent occlusion and obstruction to respiration, for 
the nasal discharge tends in like manner to accumulate 
around the nasal orifices, dry into hard scabs, and cause 
ulceration or cracking of the skin and mucous membranes. 
These operations should be carried out with pledgets of 
cotton-wpol, soaked in weak warm solutions of boracic 
acid, Condy's Fluid, J eyes' Fluid, or Sanitas : but for the 
eyes nothing stronger should be employed than physior 
logical salt solution, boric acid (satlirated solution), or 
zinc sulphate (i per cent, solution.) 

Each pledget should be placed in a china or metal 
receptacle until the cleansing is complete, when all must 
be burnt. 

Body Cleanliness. — Faecal or urinary stains about the 
hinder parts of the body should also frequently be 
washed off, and careful attention paid to the under parts 
of the tail and around the anus, for it is often found in 
distemper that a dog will pass its stools as it lies in its 
bed, being too weak or too disinclined to move • and in 



HYGIENIC TREATMENT 163 

long-haired varieties the hairs are sometimes found 
imbedded in the faecal mass, which can only then be 
removed by cutting away all attached hair with scissors. 
So little attention is paid to this important and element- 
ary matter that I feel bound to call attention to it. It 
has been no uncommon occurrence to have dogs brought 
to my surgery in this condition — often with the history 
that the dog is constipated and in great pain, when the 
sole trouble has proved to be neglect on the part of the 
owner, leading to a purely mechanical obstruction to 
defaecation. In any case of debilitating disease where 
the subject is of the long-haired variety, it is a sound 
precaution to clip away all hair from the vicinity of the 
anus, prevention in such instances being better than 
cure. 

The ears should be periodically examined, as occa- 
sionally otorrhoea is set up, the discharge of which 
would need constant removal and the application of 
medicaments. 

Cleansing the Mouth and Teeth. — Where the patient 
has an evil-smelling mouth, dirty teeth, or inflamed 
buccal mucous membrane, the nurse must also devote a 
little time to this condition by the application of mouth- 
washes, consisting of solutions of permanganate of 
potash (i to i,ooo), of Sanitas (i to 4 or 5), or hydrogen 
peroxide (i to 4). A very nice mouth-wash, known as 
Glyco-Thymolin, can be purchased from any chemist 
in tablet form, one tablet being dissolved in water for 
eich application. A solution of boracic acid is some- 
times used, but it is a very mild antiseptic, and I prefer 
the agents previously mentioned. Cleansing of the 
mouth and teeth may be carried out with a small sponge 
attached to the end of a stick or held with forceps, or a 
soft toothbrush may be employed. 

Exercise. — Differences of opinion exist as to the advisa- 



164 CANINE DISTEMPER 

bility of allowing a dog sick with distemper to take 
exercise. Generally speaking, it should be prohibited, 
except in the most restricted amounts, no matter whether 
the disease is in its inception or well advanced, for the 
reason that it excites and fatigues, elevates the tempera- 
ture, and imposes a greater burden upon the heart in 
having to supply extra blood to the muscles of locomo- 
tion. On the other hand, gentle exercise increases 
natural peristalsis and encourages the action of elimina- 
tives (where these are required), and prevents to some 
extent the leg weakness which so often arises from con- 
tinued lack of movement. Rickets has also been cited 
as a sequel to the withholding of exercise, especially in 
heavy puppies, which then become perhaps permanently 
disfigured. 

Thus I am in favour of allowing the patient the run of 
its room, but not of the house or yard, and by no means 
should the patient be taken for walks, however bright 
he may appear. In the case of house-trained dogs, which 
refuse to evacuate except out of doors, a large box con- 
taining a layer of ordinary earth should be provided, and 
the animal induced to use it. At the termination of the 
attack, convalescence should be well advanced before 
normal exercise is resumed, and then it should only be 
allowed for small, gradually-increasing periods, the dog to 
be obviously quite strong before the open street is faced. 

Failure to observe these precautions has led in 
numerous instances to relapses or nervous complica- 
tions, such as fits or chorea. 

Minimising Spread of Contagion. — In order to minimise 
the spread of contagion from the sick-roam to other 
dogs and places by the attendant treading on nasal or 
coughed-up discharges or faecal matter, the floor of the 
room may be sprinkled with a lo per cent, solution of 
cresol (Jeyes' fluid) at intervals during the day, or with 



DIETETIC TREATMENT 165 

Sanitas powder. Neither is toxic or causes irritation to 
skin or mucous membrane, but both are anti-parasitic, 
and respiratory antiseptics. In this connection isolation 
of the sick dog is of Httle use in curtailing the spread of 
infection to other dogs if the person who attends the 
animal is not also isolated, for the contagion is readily 
carried on his clothes, boots, and hands unless overalls 
and goloshes are worn and the greatest precautions 
observed. 

Excrement should be covered and surrounded with 
pine sawdust or kennel powder as soon as noticed, as 
this facilitates its removal, and helps one to avoid it 
prior to such removal. 

In those instances where more dogs than one are 
affected with distemper, and are being treated under the 
same roof, it is a good precautionary plan to isolate each 
from the other as much as possible, particularly if the 
infection has not originated from the same source, be- 
cause we may find one dog has fallen to a comparatively 
virulent attack, whilst its companion has contracted only 
a mild type, and it is quite conceivable that the former 
will transmit its malignant contagium to the latter, pro- 
ducing in it severe symptoms or complications which 
/migWt never have arisen had the individuals been kept 
-a^rt. 

Stimulation of the skin by gentle brushing each 
morning is attended by good results in all cases except 
those which have become too weak to withstand the 
fatigue of being handled ; therefore the activities of the 
nurse in this direction must be guided by the indications 
of the patient's condition. The brushing of a dog's coat 
has exactly the same stimulating and refreshing effect on 
the dog as the morning wash has on the human being. 

Dietetics. — -The proper dieting of a sick dog is of 
paramount importance, and its methodical execution is a 



166 CANINE DISTEMPER 

duty which devolves upon the nurse no less than the 
observance of all the hygienic principles enumerated 
above, and unless the person undertaking the duties of 
nurse fully realises his or her responsibilities, and 
carries them out to the letter, the patient stands a poor 
chance of recovery, for no amount of medicinal treat- 
ment can ever compensate for lack of efficiency in 
nursing and feeding. Our patients cannot be reasoned 
with ; thus, when the appetite is completely in abeyance, 
forcible feeding becomes necessary, and the important 
point is to know how to do it without upsetting or 
exciting the animal. It may be regarded as a funda- 
mental rule in the feeding of sick animals that food shall 
be oflfered only in very small quantity each time, but 
at much more frequent intervals ; for in this way the over- 
taxing of the digestive organs is avoided, and only as much 
nourishment is consumed as can be assimilated. 

In the early stages of distemper the appetite very 
often remains remarkably good — even in spite of a 
temperature — and in such cases food should not be with- 
held in consequence of the fever, although the meat 
ration and other nitrogenous substances may be reduced. 

A light nourishing diet is indicated, such as is afforded 
by milk, bread and milk, or boiled fish, etc. Should 
there be no pyrexia at the commencement, I advocate the 
continuance of the meat ration so long as the dog will 
eat it voluntarily, for meat must be regarded as the 
natural and normal food of the canine race. Milk is an 
ideal diet for the sick, and can in most cases be quite 
easily digested and retained ; and in addition it contains 
all the tissue-building vital elements necessary for the 
sustenance of the system. If the dog has lost all inchna- 
tion for food it is hardly wise to commence its forcible 
administration immediately ; better far to coax the animal 
by offering little pieces of food out of the hand, and by 



DIETETIC TREATMENT 167 

tempting him with a variety of dishes, preparing one's self 
to be satisfied at first with the small amounts voluntarily 
taken, for food which is voluntarily eaten is worth a 
good deal more than that which is forced down. 

Of course, refusal to feed cannot be countenanced 
indefinitely, as a dog will very soon lose strength and 
condition if not nourished; therefore, having allowed 
two or three days to pass during which only the slightest 
morsels of food have been consumed, and the alimentary 
tract having had a perfect rest, we must then proceed to 
administer artificially such aliment as appears indicated. 

Sick Diet. — Probably in the first instance pure milk 
will suffice or a new-laid egg may be beaten up in it ; to 
this a little port wine may be added for cases which 
seem to require an alcoholic stimulant. Beef-tea, soups, 
broth with the yolk of an egg in it, extract of meat, small 
quantities of minced raw meat, are all very good diets 
for sick animals such as those suffering with distemper, 
and for the sake of variety they may be given alternately. 
There are some proprietary meat extracts which, owing 
to an excessive content of sodium salts, may sometimes 
increase the irritability of the intestinal mucous mem- 
brane, and a^e^ntuate any already-existing diarrhoea. 
These should be avoided if their consumption is noticed 
to be followed" by ill-effects. 

Whey is very good in cases of weak digestion, gastritis, 
etc., and is made by heating a pint of milk to about the 
temperature of the body, and adding a teaspoonful of 
essence of rennet. Break up the curd and strain off the 
whey through muslin. 

Raw meat juice can be prepared by finely mincing 
some steak and placing in a jar containing cold water in 
the proportion of one part of water to four of rrieat. Let 
it soak for half an hour, then press out the juice through 
muslin. 



168 CANINE DISTEMPER 

To make beef tea, cut some lean beef into shreds; 
place in a saucepan with cold water, and let it cook very 
slowly for three to four hours ; add a little salt ; skim off 
the fat and strain. It must never be allowed to boil. 

1 have noted on several occasions during protracted 
illnesses that an animal will evince a sudden desire to 
feed voluntarily, and will consume solids almost raven- 
ously if permitted ; yet in such cases it is obviously 
undesirable to impose such a severe burden on digestive 
organs which have probably been for so long accustomed 
only to the Hghtest diet in carefully regulated quantities, 
and the resumption of feeding with solids must, therefore, 
be undertaken on a strictly sliding scale and with great 
caution. 

Foods for Diarrhoea. — Where there is a profuse diarrhoea 
which it is highly desirable to check, this can be often 
better accomplished by food than by medicine, and for 
the purpose some astringents such as cornflour, arrow- 
root, or rice starch should be mixed with milk and ^^g, 
and administered in small quantities at frequent intervals. 
Arrowroot is particularly soothing and nourishing, and 
forms a valuable adjunct to the sick diet. Milk puddings, 
such as sago, rice, or semolina, are also useful if the dog 
has sufficient appetite to eat them. A food I have 
frequently used in severe cases with apparent benefit is 
a mixture of one egg, half a pint of milk, half an ounce of 
port wine, and cornflour to thicken, administered four 
times daily. 

Aids to Retention of Food. — If the swallowing of liquid 
or other foods is followed by emesis, we must try the 
effect of giving less at a time until this evil abates ; milk 
may be mixed with soda-water, or with ice, which some- 
times act as effective antemetics, but where all such 
efforts seem abortive, we must then resort to the treat- 
ment of the stomach with drugs, among the best of which 



DIETETIC TREATMENT 169 

for the purpose is bismuth. This agent, in virtue of a 
mechanical action by which it is slowly deposited upon 
the walls of the stomach, allays irritation thereof through 
more or less prevention of contact between the gastric 
mucous membrane and the foods ingested. It is also a 
germicide of considerable value in bowel cases, the 
benzoate or subnitrate being mostly employed. These 
can be administered in powder form on the back of the 
tongue in doses of from 3 to 20 grains, three or 
four times daily, or may be suspended in some mucilage. 
A very convenient mixture is that known as mist. 
bismuthi co. (Hewlett), containing in each fluid drachm : 

R. Bismuth, carb. ... ... ... grs. v. 

Liq. morphiiiffi ... ... ... m iiss. 

Sodii bicarb. ... ... ... gr. iiss. 

Mucilage ... ... ... ... q.s. 

the dose of which ranges from 3ss, to 5ii. according to 
the size of the dog. 

Hydrocyanic acid in doses of i^i. to niiv. of the dilute 
acid is a powerful antemetic, as also is chloretone. The 
former acts by its paralysant effect on all nervous 
structures with which it comes in contact; the latter 
exerts a nerve sedative and antispasmodic action, and is 
the active principle employed in most of the well-known 
proprietary " sea-sick remedies." It is non-irritating, 
non-toxic, and has no action on the heart, and as a 
remedy for gastritis and vomiting in dogs it is invaluable. 
One or two of the 5-grain capsules are usually sufficient 
to arrest emesis. If the capsules themselves act as 
irritants, and are thrown up before they have had an 
opportunity of dissolving, the chloretone must be given 
in liquid form, the contents of a capsule being dissolved 
in half a teaspoonful of brandy, and a teaspoonful of 
warm water then added. 

Hot fomentations to or stimulation of the abdomen will 



170 CANINE DISTEMPER 

also help to relieve the symptom, and concluding that by 
these various means we have brought the patient into a 
condition which enables it to swallow and retain liquid 
foods, the question of the selection. of these foods may be 
resumed. 

Of the proprietary foods there is an extensive choice, 
and of them all probably Virol has the most value, con- 
taining as it does bone marrow and malt extract. Brand's 
essence of beef is also very excellent, and as a food for 
dogs, should be warmed until liquefied, then given 
with a spoon. Benger's, Allenbury's, and many patent 
proteid foods— such as those containing phosphates — are 
beneficial and reliable, and some splendid results have 
accrued in nervous cases from the use of Sanatogen. 

Rectal Feeding. — It may happen, of course, that in some 
cases the administration of food by the mouth becomes 
impossible or undesirable, owing to excessive weakness, 
sore throat or mouth, poor digestion, or vomiting, when 
recourse must be had to rectal feeding. 

This may be accomplished in two ways, viz. : 
(i) Clysters; (2) Suppositories. 

Giving a Clyster. — In giving a clyster the rectum should 
be first washed free of foetid mucus or faeces by the injec- 
tion of warm saline solution (i teaspoonful to the pint) 
with an apparatus constructed as follows : A length of 
rubber tubing — about 2 or 3 feet — with a lumen of 
\ inch, is attached at one end to a rubber (human) rectal 
tube by a glass connection ; at the other end a glass funnel 
is inserted. The rectal tube is anointed with vaseline, the 
solution is poured into the funnel until it runs out at the 
lower end, when the tube can then be carefully inserted 
as high as possible into the rectum. It is wise to hold 
the funnel at only a slightly higher level than the rectal 
tube until the latter is introduced, and the object of allow- 
ing the water to run before insertion is to exclude all air. 



DIETETIC TREATMENT 



171 



Whilst the tube and funnel are still full, some of the 
liquid having already passed into the bowel, the funnel 
must be quickly lowered and inverted over a pail or bowl ; 
then by the simple act of siphonage all the fluid in the 
rectum will run out. The funnel is now raised again and 




Fig. 20. — Rectal Lavage. 

The upper position of the funnel is that used for pouring water in, 
whilst the lower position allows it to run out. 

A, rectal tube ; B, glass connection ; C, rubber tube ; D, funnel ; 

E, the apparatus inverted. 

(Modified from " Miiller and Glass.") 

the operation repeated, without, of course, removing the 
tube from the rectum. The rectal tube used for this 
purpose has a terminal hole of good size diameter. If 
any air passes in, great pain is often occasioned. 
Ten minutes after the washing process the nutritive 



in CANINE DISTEMPER 

clyster may be injected in like manner, though, of course, 
none is syphoned out, and in this operation a long rubber 
catheter (as used on human beings) or an ordinary mare's 
catheter, with a lateral instead of a terminal orifice, is 
substituted for the rectal tube ; and, as before, it must 
be greased prior to introduction and passed high up in a 
gentle manner. The liquid must only be allowed to enfer 
at low pressure, to accomplish which the funnel must 
only be slightly elevated ; the lower the funnel is held 
the slower will the food enter, and the greater probability 
will there be of its retention and absorption. 



Fig. 21. — Soft, Pliable Catheter for Rectal Use in giving 
Nutrient Enemas (with Lateral Orifice). 



Fig. 2IA. — Rubber Rectal Tube for Rectal Lavage 
(with Large Terminal Hole). 

The material injected will, of course, be at blood heat 
— i.e. about ioo° F. Upon withdrawal of the catheter 
the anal opening should be kept closed, and it is an 
advantage to slightly elevate the dog's hind-quarters for 
awhile, if such can be done without causing undue excite- 
ment. Clysters are sometimes returned unless great 
care is exercised, and the points to be noted are : 

1. The Hquid must be at blood heat, so that its intro- 
duction will not be felt. 

2. No air must be injected. 

3. The tube must be greased and carefully introduced. 

4. Injection must be very slowly performed, and not in 
greater quantity than one to two ounces at a time. 

Composition of Nutrient Enemas. — The enema may con- 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 173 

sist of meat broth, egg and milk, or broth and egg, and to 
give it sufficient consistence, thick starch water may 
be added. In cases of great emaciation and prostration 
such nourishment should be given every two or three 
hours. It is surprising how long an animal may be kept 
alive by this means, and very frequently it has proved 
the deciding factor between death or recovery. 

Albrecht recorded an instance of life being sustained 
for forty-two days by this method. 

Nutrient Suppositories. — Nutrient suppositories can be 
purchased in boxes of twelve, each suppository contain- 
ing nourishment representing half an ounce of almost 
entirely peptonised beef. They are biconical in shape, 
and need only to be moistened before insertion, and 
then passed as high as possible by inserting the rectal 
tube behind them. Previous rectal lavage, however, is 
also here indicated, especially if the bowels are in an 
unhealthy, dirty state. 

History Sheets. — In some veterinary infirmaries, where 
great attention is paid to detail, history sheets are kept, 
upon which the condition of each case is entered as it is 
admitted, subsequent particulars being noted from day 
to day. Reference to such a chart will readily indicate 
any progression or retrogression made, and is not only 
instructive to the surgeon and his assistants, but is also 
evidence to the client of the scrupulous care which is 
being bestowed on the sick animal. A useful form of 
chart will be found on p. 174. 

Medicinal Treatment — Early Stages. — When the prac- 
titioner's attention is called to a Case in its early incep- 
tion, he may adopt one of several courses — viz. : (i) He 
may give an emetic, such as v^. ipecacuanhse (3ii. to 3v.) 
per OS, or apomorphine (gr. xV to gr. |) subcutane- 
ously. Finlay Dunn says :" By clearing out both the 
stomach and biliary system, emetics remove biliousness, 



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MEDICINAL TREATMENT 175 

and used at the outset they thus mitigate distemper and 
other febrile attacks, and sometimes arrest epileptic 
seizures." Nevertheless, they also produce nausea and 
depression, and it is doubtful whether they are not 
on that account even more harmful than beneficial, and 
personally I never employ them in cases of distemper. 

(2) If diarrhoea is not already in evidence, he may 
administer calomel in doses of gr. | to grs. ii. once or 
twice daily until a laxative effect is produced. Fried- 
berger and Frohner carried out some experiments on 
cases in which the digestive tract was the starting-point 
of the infection, and they stated that good results were 
obtained from giving gr. | two or three times a day, 
pointing out its disinfectant action on the mucous mem- 
branes of the stomach and intestine, and the probability 
of thereby preventing complications. There is no doubt 
that the emptying of the stomach and bowels has a 
salutary effect, and if constipation is present, a laxative 
seems essential. 

We must, however, always bear in mind the import- 
ance of refraining from reducing the strength and con- 
dition of the animal, since we may later be hard pressed 
to sustain either. Probably our object would be achieved 
just as satisfactorily if a warm soapy enema were given 
instead of purgatives, or a glycerine suppository tried. 

Fever. — (3) If no other symptom than dullness and 
slight elevation of temperature are observed, he may 
employ febrifuges, such as quinine sulph., aspirin, 
sodium salicylate, antipyrine, spt. aether, nit., etc. In 
prescribing quinine one must not lose sight of the fact 
that large doses sometimes cause nausea and vomiting, 
also weaken cardiac action and reduce blood pressure, 
whereas small doses are stimulating ; let the dose there- 
fore not exceed gr. \ to grs. iii. according to the size of 
the dog. Aspirin may be administered in powder form 



176 CANINE DISTEMPER 

in quantities of grs. v. to grs. xv. three times daily ; it is 
a fairly safe drug, very large doses being required to 
set up toxic effects, these being of a paralytic nature. 

However, it is questionable whether antipyresis is 
justifiable when elevation of temperature is only slight 
or of short duration, for, as MuUer correctly observed, 
it deprives us of the symptom of temperature, which is 
of the greatest importance during the course of the 
disease, and, moreover, many of the agents used are 
cardiac depressants. 

It is only when pyrexia has been long persistent or 
has attained an alarming height, thus threatening to 
induce some deleterious effect upon the vital organs — 
particularly the heart — that interference becomes of 
paramount importance. 

Antipyrine is a first-rate febrifuge for dogs, producing 
its effect within half an hour, without any untoward 
action, and it may be given in doses ranging between 
grs. V. and grs. xv. frequently during the day. 

Antifebrine is another quick-acting drug of great value 
for rapidly lowering temperature in cases of fever arising 
from pneumonia or any other cause ; it is cheap and safe, 
and is usually administered in doses of grs. ii. to grs. x. 
every two or three hours. 

Both of these agents are quicker in action, more 
certain, and preferable to quinine as antipyretics, and 
deserve to be more widely used in canine practice than 
they have been hitherto. 

Other remedies for fever are the various salines, such 
as magnes. sulph. or Glauber's salt (a pinch of either of 
which could with advantage be dissolved in the drinking 
water) ; warm clothing to the body, but cool, fresh air to 
breathe ; rest, and a regular action of the bowels. 

Apart from these measures, and advice as to isolation 
and segregation of the ailing and in-contact animals, with 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 177 

especial reference to the hygienic and dietetic treatment 
of the patient, nothing more need be' attempted at this 
stage, and unless complications arise, probably nothing 
more will be required. In the reverse case, other thera- 
peutic measures must be adopted as the symptoms arise, 
for the treatment of distemper is practically entirely 
symptomatic. . 

Ocular Lesions. — Attention must be paid to eye dis- 
charges from the very beginning, for the reasons already 
stated in the chapter dealing with symptoms of the 
eye. (See also p. i6i.) -- 

Conjunctivitis. — Where conjunctivitis is present, a solu^ 
tion composed as under and applied three times per day 
is -very effective; in fact, I -have foundho eye lotion to 
equal it in most cases : - -- - - 



PRESCRIPTION No. i. 

R Zinci sulphatis ... ... gr. ii. 

Ac. boric. „. ... ... ... gr. x. 

Aquas dest. ... ... ... ... gi- 

M. ft.lotio. 

Boracic lotion (5 to 10 per cent.) may be used alone, and 
in all instances where aqueous solutions are employed 
on the eye these should always be warmed before appli- 
cation, as the dog does not then resent the operation so 
much, nor is the eye so sensitive to a warm solution as 
to a cold one. 

If the secretions are purulent and the inflammation of 
the conjunctiva is intense and obstinate in character, it is 
often advisable to paint the membrane with a solution of 
nitrate of silver (i to 80) once daily for several days, 
followed shortly afterwards by a washing with a 2 per 
cent, solution of common salt to" neutralise the irritant 
actionof the silver salt. Various other remedies may use- 
fully be employed, such as solutions of copper sulphate 
(2 per cent), corrosive sublimate (ok)2 per cent), creolin 



178 CANINE DISTEMPER 

(I to I per cent.), permanganate of potash (0*05 per cent.), 
and salicylic acid (i per cent.)- 

Dry calomel or tannoform blown or dropped on the 
.eyeball in small quantities is favoured by some prac- 
titioneirs. 

In all eye cases which are characterised by marked 
photophobia and sensitiveness, 2 drachms of liq. opii sed. 
may be added to each ounce of the zinc or boric lotions 
mentioned above, and the combination will be found a 
very excellent sedative and astringent eye-wash.. 

If the pain is intense, mv. of a 2 to 5 per cent, solution 
of cocaine hydrochldr., dropped into the eye, will pro- 
duce complete insensitiveness in a few minutes, lasting, 
however, not much more than ten minutes. It may 
be repeated as required, or cocaine ointment could be 
smeared on the eyelids at frequent intervals. 

Unless severe ocular irritation is relieved, we often find 
the dog scratching at its eyes or rubbing them at every 
opportunity, with the result that traumatic ulcers or 
wounds are not infrequently produced. To obviate 
such a contingency, shields of various kinds have 
been devised, but unless they are perfect in fit and 
comfortable to wear, they usually cause more harm than 
good, and worry the dog incessantly. Subdued light is 
,an advantage where photophobia exists, and if the 
animal can be kept in a darkened room while the eye 
trouble is at its height, no shield or bandage will be 
found necessary. 

Keratitis. — For the treatment oi parenchymatous keratitis 
frequent bathing with warm antiseptic solutions will 
materially contribute to the reduction of inflammation, 
and other treatment may be prescribed as for conjunc- 
tivitis, whilst, in addition, a half per cent, solution of 
atropine sulph. is very useful. 

Blenorrhoea. — In obstinate cases of blenorrhaa, cautery 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 179 

with pure silver nitrate or copper sulphate, or even 
actual cautery, has been recommended, although this 
must only be undertaken during the local anaesthesia 
produced by previous application of cocaine. Other 
minor operations can be performed under the same con- 
ditions, such as removal of the membrana nictitans, or its 
treatment in obstinate catarrhal conjunctivitis. 

Ulcerative Keratitis. — Ulceration of the cornea usually 
yields to treatment with the zinc and boric lotion ; but, 
should it not do so, hot fomentations containing 5 per 
cent, boric acid should be tried every four hours, and if 
they are successful they are much preferable to cautery. 
Lotions containing lead must never be used in cases of 
injury to the cornea, as lead salts are liable to be perma- 
nently deposited in the substance of the membrane. If 
there is hernia of Descemefs membrane with threatened 
rupture, it is advisable to apply a few drops of eserine 
solution to the eye (o'os eserine salicylate to lo'o of dis- 
tilled water), as this reduces intra-ocular pressure and is 
probably a safer proceeding than that of puncturing the 
membrane at its lower border. The object aimed at is, of 
course, reduction of the pressure of liquids in the anterior 
chamber, and if this can be effected by local applications, 
the actual puncture of the chamber would appear contra- 
indicated, even though carried out below the line of 
vision. 

Atropine, although advocated by some in this condition, 
possesses the property of dilating the pupil and increas- 
ing intra-ocular pressure, therefore is hardly a suitable 
remedy. Other treatment for ulceration consists in dust- 
ing the eye with calomel, or the use of the various other 
lotions already enumerated. "Oculets," containing 
2^ gr. of adrenalin, are very valuable in inflammatory 
conditions of the eye, as they quickly reduce hyperaemia. 
Where this type of ophthalmic medication is preferred 



180 CANINE DISTEMPER 

to collyria an assortment of these Oculets can be ob- 
tained, and their application is effected by placing one 
into the conjunctival sac by drawing forward the lower 
eyelid. 

Old-Standing Opacities.— The removal of old-standing 
opacities may be hastened by smearing the eyelids with 
red precipitate ointment (i to 20) or yellow oxide of mer- 
cury ointment, night and morning. The latter remedy 
has been found especially efficacious against indolent 
ulcers and blemishes of the eye; and in addition its 
presence materially helps to prevent the sticking together 
of the eyelids so commonly seen in distemper, and the 
excoriation of eyelids and skin adjacent to the eye. 
Miiller obtained far better results from calomel than 
from anything else for the eradication of sclerotic spots ; 
he used it in equal proportion with grape sugar and 
placed a small quantity of the mixture on the cornea 
daily, and massaged the eyelid for ten minutes. The 
same author mentions the fact that permanent opacities 
may, if necessary, be disguised or modified by tattooing. 
The eye is cocained and the punctures made in an 
oblique direction in order to avoid complete puncture of 
the cornea. Sepia or Indian ink solutions are then 
rubbed into the punctures by massaging the lid over 
them for ten or fifteen minutes at a time. 

Cataract and Staphyloma. — The treatment of grey 
cataract and staphyloma is surgical, the technique of 
which I do not propose to consider in this work. There- 
fore I must request practitioners and students to refer 
to the many publications which describe these operations 
in detail. 

Respiratory Disorders— 7V«sa/ Catarrh.— Tht nostrils 
are frequently the seat of muco-purulent or purulent 
discharges, which should be carefully removed with 
moist antiseptic swabs, especially when the secretions 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 181 

tend to occlude the nasal passages and impede easy 
respiration. To prevent excoriation of adjacent tissues 
the nose should be anointed with boracic or zinc oint- 
ment or vaseline. 

All swabs used for this purpose must be burned, as 
nasal discharge is very infective. Inhalations of medi- 
cated steam are vfery useful for disinfection of the respi- 
ratory mucous membranes, and for the purpose we can 
hardly find a better agent than creolin (Jeyes' Fluid), 
I to 2 per cent. ; others have been referred to on p. i6i. 

If the nasal catarrh is very acute, the nostrils may be 
sprayed with an atomiser, using any of these prepara- 
tions or an infusion of camomile. 

Laryngitis. — Catarrh often extends to the larynx, the 
condition being a precursor of distemper, and mani- 
fested by a hard, dry, and often loud cough, with pain 
or tenderness in the region of the glottis. Soothing 
expectorant mixtures are prescribed for the alleviation 
of this symptom, such as : 

PRESCRIPTION No. 2. 

R Liq. morph. hydrochlor. ... ... ... mxxv. 

Aquas ... ... ... ... ... ad 5i. 

M. ft. mist. 
Sig. : One teaspoonful every four hours. 

PRESCRIPTION No. 3. 

R Mist, heroin co. cone. (Hewlett) ... ... 3ii- 

Aqufe ... ... ... ... ... ad 5i. 

M. ft. mist. 
Sig. : One teaspoonful to be given every three or four hours. 

PRESCRIPTION No. 4. 

R Tinct. belladonn. ... ... ... mxl. 

Spt. camphoras ... ... ... ... 3ii. 

Glycerin! ... ... ... ... ad 5i. 

M. ft. mist. 
Sig. : One teaspoonful to be given every three or four hours. 



grs. xl. 
irilxxx. 
3iii. 
adgi. 



182 CANINE DISTEMPER 

PRESCRIPTION No. 5. 

R Pulv. pot. chlor. 
Tr. camph. co. ... 
Liq. glycyrrhizae 
Aquae ... 

M. ft. mist. 

Sig : One teaspoonful to be given every three hours. 

Please Note. — The doses recommended in all these, and sub- 
sequent, prescriptions are calculated as for the fox-terrier or similar dog 
twelve months of age. 

External treatment consists in the application of hot 
fomentations or poultices to the throat, or the use of 
counter-irritants — such as soap liniment, ordinary em- 
brocation, cantharides ointment, or mustard. Fomenta- 
tions should never be used in conjunction or alternately 
with rubefacients, as a blistering effect is then produced 
which may be undesirable, 

Bronchitis. — For bronchitis, morphine and codeine are 
both very efficacious, although better than either is the 
concentrated mist, heroin co. The principal advantages 
of heroin over morphine or codeine are that, whilst its 
dose as a sedative is much smaller, it does not cause 
constipation, and the blood pressure is not altered in any 
way. It possesses the property of lowering the tempera- 
ture to a greater degree than morphine, whilst not giving 
rise to the cramp-producing effect which codeine exerts 
if given in large doses. Heroin is not more toxic than 
codeine, whilst the dose is smaller and the effect greater 
in all cases of laryngitis, bronchitis, or pneumonia. 

An efficient soothing and expectorant combination, 
especially suitable for dogs, may be found in Cocillana 
Compound Syrup (Parke, Davis), which is particularly 
adapted to the treatment ot acute or chronic bronchitis 
when the secretion is scanty and cough excessive. The 
dose is 3ss. to 3ii. in water. 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 183 

A well-tried prescription in my own practice is 

PRESCRIPTION No. 6. 

R Spt. jeth. nit. ... ... ... ... giv. 

Spt. amm. arom. ... ... .-.. 3iiss. 

Vin. ipecac. ... ... ... ... 3ii. 

Tr. camph. CO. ... ... ... ... 3i. 

Aquas ... ... ... ... ... ad Bii. 

M. ft. mist. 

Sig. : Two teaspoonfuls four times daily. 

To this may be usefully added irilxiv. of chlorodyne if 
any diarrhoea is present, or liq. glycyrrhizae (q.s.) if the 
dog is constipated. 

The animal should be kept in an equable temperature 
of about 60" F., protected from draughts and damp, 
though in a well-ventilated atmosphere. Hot drinks — 
such as hot milk, broths, soups — are soothing and 
beneficial. In cases where the cough is very severe and 
continuous, the dog becomes much exhausted and de- 
pressed, and the administration of expectorants is a 
necessity to reduce the accumulations of mucus. 

I am a great believer in medicated inhalations of steam 
for all respiratory ailments, and although some writers 
belittle their value, they can at least do no harm if no 
good, and should be tried. 

Where there is evidence of heart weakness, give 
stimulants such as liq. ammon. acet. (3i. to 3iii.), spt. 
aeth. nit. (3i to 3ii.), tr. digitalis (luv. to iti,xx.), spt. 
camphor, (irivii. to nixxx.), brandy (10 to 30 drops). 
Syrup of squill is also a good heart tonic, expectorant, 
and diuretic, of which dogs take irix. to nxxxx., usually in 
conjunction with digitalis or ammonium aceiate solution. 

A beneficial recipe fqr dogs the size of a fox-terrier 
would therefore consist of : 



184 



CANINE DISTEMPER 



PRESCRIPTION No. 7 
R Liq. ammon. acet. 
Tinct. digitalis ... 
Syr. scillae 
Glycerini 
Aquae ... 

M. ft. mist. 
Sig. :' Give two teaspoonfuls three or four times daily, 



3x. 

mlxiv. 
3iss. 
5ss. 
ad 5ii. 




Fig. 23,— Method of giving Fluid Medicine or Nourishment. 



Note— The third and fourth fingers being through the collar 
prevent tlie dog sinking down to the table. ' 

When the catarrh in cases of distemper has extended 
as far as the bronchial tubes, the practitioner must care- 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 185 

fully watch for signs of pneumonia, for if these be 
overlooked at the onset there is naturally an increased 
risk of a fatal termination. • 

Pneumonia.-^U nder the most favourable circumstances 
this is a very serious complication, and we cannot afford 
to lose any time in dealing with it. 

Pneumonia sometimes appears insidiously without any 
premonitory cough, and on this account other gross 
symptoms may be allowed— if one is unwary — to distract 
one's attention from it. Stimulants and expectorants are 
given for pneumonia, and prescriptions Nos. 6 and 7 would 
be especially beneficial. The temperature may be high 
or moderately low, and additions or omissions must be 
made in the medicine accordingly. 

Local treatment is advisable in these cases, and one or 
other of the following may be selected : 

(a) Hoi compresses to the chest repeated every fifteen 
to twenty minutes if necessary. 

(b) Mustard applied for ten minutes or a quarter of an 
hour, especiallj' in catarrhal pneumonia, and renewed at 
long intervals where indicated. 

(c) Rubbing the chest with embrocation, camphorated oil, 
turpentine or soap liniment may be preferred, or even 
dry friction applied by hand. 

Turpentine liniment consists of: 01. tereb., 13; sapo 
mollis, li; camphorse, i; aquae, 5. 

Counter-irritants relieve pain and internal inflammation 
by their irritating and stimulating effect upon the skin,: 
and encourage absorption of exudate ; their action is 
varied according to their strength, the duration of the 
rubbing, and the force used. It seems not generally 
recognised that the value of counter-irritants in most 
cases depends upon the method of their application, and 
efforts which are half-hearted or feeble only meet with 
corresponding results. 



186 CANINE DISTEMPER 

[d) Tincture of iodine may be painted on twice daily 
and the chest enveloped in cotton-wool. In dealing with 
long-haired dogs, or in fact with any dog, it becomes 
really essential to clip the hair from the areas which 
overlie the diseased lung, for in no other way can counter- 
irritants be adequately brought into contact with the 
skin. Denuding the skin of hair in these cases does not 
in the least expose the dog to the risk of further chill, as 
it is compensated for by the wool or flannel coat worn. 
In no case should the latter be discarded until very late 
in convalescence. 

{e) Thermogene wool is an excellent application to the 
chest walls in lung complaints, and may be left in situ 
for a week or more without renewal. If it becomes damp 
for any reason, its action is intensified. 

(/) Antiphlogistine paste is a remedy largely used in 
human practice with marked beneficial results, but for 
its use to be effective in dogs the hair must be clipped 
quite short — as is also the case with Thermogene wool. 
The paste is spread thickly on a piece of gauze or linen, 
aftej;" having been rendered semi-fluid by heat, the whole 
being then brought closely into contact with the chest 
walls while still hot, and tied in position. It should be 
renewed every twenty-four hours, and although expensive 
its therapeutic effiects are undoubted. 

{g) Priessnitz's compress, of German origin, has special 
advantages in the treatment of pulmonary disorders in 
dogs, since it is an efficacious means of retaining a con- 
tinual dry or moist heat in contact with localised parts 
of the body. The desired object is achieved by first 
placing a layer of dry cotton-wool next to the chest (or, if 
moist heat is required, this wool is wrung out in hot 
water) over which is placed a layer of gauze to keep it in 
position ; this is in turn enveloped in oiled silk or jaconet 
to retain the heat, or moisture ; and finally, a bandage 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 187 

or covering of dry flannel, which prevents loss of heat 
by radiation. 

Inhalations must not be forgotten, as they assist in the 
evacuation of catarrhal exudate, relieve dyspncea, and to 
some extent rectify foul breath. 

Narcotics are employed where the cough is very dis- 
tressing, and any of the prescriptions from 2 to 5 inclusive 
would afford relief; some amount of cough, however, is 
highly desirable, as its function is to rid the bronchioles 
of the excessive exudations collected therein. Where 
the cough has subsided or become very weak, and little 
or no expectoration is taking place, the hypodermic 
injection of apomorphine (gr. ^ to gr. \) has been recom- 
mended, though in adopting this course I must warn 
practitioners that as in such cases great dyspnoea and 
buccal breathing have probably developed, accompanied 
by much weakness, it is very easy to kill the patient by 
producing violent emesis, too large a dose causing 
respiratory arrest and death. The B.P. injectio apo- 
morphinae hypodermica is the most convenient prepara- 
tion for use, as 1 10 minims contain i grain of apomorphine 
hydrochloride, therefore the dose of the solution would 
be iTivss. to iTixxii. 

Very great value has accrued from the hypodermic 
injection of nuclein, as it has been observed to effect a 
remarkable improvement in an animal's disease-resisting 
power, and hence it is of especial benefit in the treatment 
of pneumonia or pleurisy. It is prepared from yeast, 
and possesses the property of greatly increasing the 
number of leucocytes in the blood, and as they play so 
important a r6le in the defence of the system it is 
deduced that nuclein is indicated in all specific diseases 
of bacterial origin. Whenever fever is present, and the 
blood shows a low content of white corpuscles, this drug 
should be given. 



188 CANINE DISTEMPER 

The dose of the 5 per cent, solution is calculated at 
nii. per i lb. body weight, injected subcutaneously twice 
daily for several days, diluted with an equal amount of 
physiological salt solution. A valuable auxiliary to the 
nuclein treatment is the injection of anti-distemper 
serum. (See chapter on Sero-Therapy.) 

Gangrene, and (Edema of Lungs. — Should gangrene or 
oedema of the lungs supervene, the case must be regarded 
as practically hopeless, and little can be done except 
perhaps the subcutaneous injection of ether and camphor, 
and application of vesicants to the sides. Finally, the 
animal's strength should be kept up by suitable and 
nourishing diet such as small quantities of scraped raw 
meat, or meat extract, the pure gravy from joints of roast 
beef, milk or peptonised foods frequently administered. 

Alimentary Disorders — Dirty Mouth. — As already stated, 
the mouth should be regularly washed out with the 
remedies enumerated on p. 163, should any hyperaemia of 
the gums or buccal mucous membrane be noticed or the 
breath become foul ; and the teeth, in consequence of the 
dirty brown state they often assume, should also be 
examined and cleaned. An unhealthy mouth invariably 
means an unhealthy body, and treatment of distemper 
would not be complete or thorough without attention 
being paid to this important cavity. 

Pharyngitis. — Pharyngitis, sometimes appearing as an 
extension of stomatitis or laryngitis, may be treated with 
mouth-washes — such as potass, permanganate, i per 
cent, solution ; potass, chlor., 3 per cent, solution ; boric 
acid, s percent, solution; lime-water— applied either with 
soft swabs or through an atomiser. Warm, liquid foods 
and smart external counter-irritants are also indicated. 

Gastritis.— In the treatment of gastritis, allusion has 
been already made on p. 168 to some of the drugs which 
prevent or control vomiting, and since this is the most 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 189 

prominent feature of gastric catarrh, it is very important. 
Other remedies, however, comprise the swallowing of 
ice, application of heat or irritants over the epigastrium, 
-withholding of food, and the administration of one or 
more of the following: Opium, sodium bicarb., mag- 
nesium carbonate, hydrochloric acid, tincture of gentian, 
tinct. of nux vomica, bismuth subnit. 

Many veterinary surgeons commence by giving apo- 
raorphine as an emetic, this being superior to and, less 
depressing than other emetics. Where there is already 
great depression and emesis, the giving of calomel may 
be substituted, after the purgative action of which the 
stomach should be completely rested for a day. Then 
tinct. of opium can be given in doses of tti,v. to luxx., 
particularly if enteritis and diarrhoea are co-existent. 

Sometimes drugs in powder form are preferred, in 
which case a quite useful prescription would consist of: 

PRESCRIPTION No. 8. 
R Bismuth, carb. ... ... ... ... grs. v. 

Soda; bicarb. ... ... ... ... grs. v. 

Pulv. cinnamomi ... ... ... ^rs. ii. 

M. ft. pulv. i. 

Sig. : To be dusted on the tongue and repeated three or 

four times daily. 

The mist, bismuth, aromat. c. /"e^sw. (Hewlett) is also very 
valuable ; whilst the following elixir has much, to com- 
mend it by virtue of its nerve sedative action : 



PRESCRIPTION No. 


9' 






R Pot. brom. 






grs. Ixxx. 


Syr. chloral 






5iv. 


Tinct. cannabis indicse ... ... 






nlxiv. 


Tinct. hyoscyamus 






Siiss. 


Tinct. gentian. CO. 






3iv. 


Aquas ... 






ad 5ii. 


M. ft. elixir. 








Sig. ; Two teaspoonfuls thrice 


daily. 





190 CANINE DISTEMPER 

Probably best of all remedies, however, is chloretone 
in doses varying between 3 and 15 grains ; cats, however, 
owing to a peculiar idiosyncrasy, cannot take it. 

A teaspoonful of pepsin may advantageously be ad- 
ministered three times daily, or with the food, as an aid 
to thorough digestion; or tablets may be purchased 
containing taka-diastase (gr. i.), pepsin (gr. i.), pancreatin 
(gr, ss.), which will be found very beneficial in the gastric 
complications of distemper. 

Another well-recommended preparation is that in 
which each fluid drachm contains : 



PRESCRIPTION No. 10. 



grs. uss. 
grs. ii. 
iiivi. 
mi. 
mx. 



R Taka-diastase 

Bismuth et sodium tart. 
Tinct. nucis. vom. 
Ac. hydrocyanic, dil. ... 
Spt. chloroform 

and the dose would be half to two fluid drachms accord- 
ing to the size of the dog. 

In severe gastritis it may be necessary to resort to 
rectal feeding if all food taken by the mouth is im- 
mediately ejected. 

Enteritis. — Enteritis will be treated more or less on the 
same lines as gastritis, even as regards food, warmth, 
and drugs. However, our efforts here are principally 
directed to the curtailment of its accompanying diarrhoea 
and tenesmus, which, if unchecked, rapidly reduce the 
animal to a skeleton and rob it of the last vestige of 
bodily strength. Diarrhoea may exist before the graver 
conditions of enteritis, ulceration, and intense straining, 
and should be taken in hand immediately, in order that 
these complications may be prevented as far as possible. 
Our aims are to reduce intestinal catarrh and consequent 
irritability of the mucous membrane, and to lessen 
peristalsis and secretion by curtailment of exercise; also 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 



191 



to forbid meat and other laxative or indigestible foods, 
and to maintain warmth to the body. 

Efficacious mixtures for the control of diarrhoea are : 



PRESCRIPTION No. 


II. 




B Chldrodyni 








... ttilxxx. 


Bism. subnit. 








... grs. xl 


Tinct. opii 








... nilxiv. 


Gum acaciae 








... Si. 


AquEe ... 


M. 


ft. mist. 




... ad gii. 



Sig. : Two teaspoonfuls three times daily. 

This allays gastro-intestinal irritation and is indicated 
in cases where the discharges are thin and copious. 
Dover's powder may be given for the same purpose in 
doses of 5 to 1 5 grains. 



PRES( 


:RIPTI0N No. 


12. 


R Tinct. opii . . . 




... mlxiv. 


Creosoti 




... taxvi. 


Pulv. catecliu 




... grs. Ixxx 


Pulv. cretae praep. 




... 3iiss. 


Aquae 


M. ft. mist. 


... adSii. 


Sig. : Two teaspoonfuls three times daily. 



The above prescription is useful for chronic discharges 
containing mucus and blood. 

PRESCRIPTION No. 13. 

R Pulv. opii ... ... ... ... gr. i. 

Pulv. camphorae .. ... ... grs. ii. 

Pulv. ipecac. ... ... ... ... gr. ss. 

Pulv. plumbi acet. ... ... ... gr. i. 

Excipient ... ... ... ... q.s. 

M. ft. pil. i. 
Sig. : Give one three or four times daily. 

Certain drugs exert an antiseptic effect on the intestinal 
tract — such as bismuth subgallate and subnitrate, resorcin 



192 CANINE DISTEMPER 

(gr. i. to grs. v.), salol (grs. ii. to grs. x.), and salicylic 
acid (grs. iii. to grs. x.) — and should be prescribed in 
cases where the faecal evacuations are foul. Salol is not 
so irritant as salicylic acid ; it is not soluble in water, 
though freely in ether or chloroform, in either of which 
vehicles it may be given. 




Fig. 24;— Method of giving a Pill. 

If ulceration or hcemorrhage of the bowel is suspected, 
from the presence of blood in the stools, the administra- 
tion of silver nitrate in doses of gr. \ to gr. \ will be 
followed by improvement, since this salt exerts a 
wonderful astringent and antiseptic effect; it must, 
however, be used with great care, and should be given, 
combined with kaolin, in a capsule. It may be followed 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 193 

up with one-minim doses of creosote, or salicylic acid 
(grs. ii.). 

Dysentery is usually accompanied by intense straining, 
which, if unallayed, may lead to prolapse of the rectum. 
To overcome this tenesmus narcotics are indicated, such as 
opium, morphine, or chloretone, the latter probably 
proving as efficacious as any ; or chloretone compound 
ointment (Parke, Davis) may be employed containing : 
Chloretone, grs. xii. ; calomel, grs. xii. ; hydrastine, gr. i. ; 
hamamelin, grs. vii. ; lanolin base. Si. ; supplied in collap- 
sible tubes wth elongated nozzles, suitable for rectal 
medication. 

Other agents which have been successfully tried in the 
treatment of diarrhoea, and from which choice may be 
made, are : Tannoform, grs. iii. to grs. x. ; tannigen, grs. iii. 
to grs. viii. ; tannic acid, grs. ii. to grs. vi. ; gallic acid, 
grs. ii. to grs. v. ; cupri. sulph., gr. \ to grs. ii. ; ferri. 
sulph., grs. iii. to grs. x. ; alum, chlor., grs. v. to grs. x. ; 
sod. hyposulph., grs. iii. to grs. xv. ; arsenic, gr. ^V to gr. ^. 

Astringent enemata often prove of great utility, es- 
pecially in those instances in which the appetite is in 
abeyance, for then we may add food substances such as 
egg, starch, cornflour, arrowroot, etc. The medicinal 
enema should contain : Liq. opii. sed., nix. ; mucil. amyl., 
3vi.; or lead acetate, opium, and starch gruel, at ioo° F. ; in 
other cases the mucilage may be omitted, and the rectum 
washed out with solutions of tannin or alum (i to 2 per 
cent.), or of argentum nit. (^ to i per cent.). The usual 
care and slowness of administration must be observed in 
this procedure as was recommended in the giving of 
nutrient clysters, and where these injections become 
responsible for increased irritation and tenesmus, they 
must be discontinued. 

The food must usually be lessened in amount, given at 
regular intervals, of an easily assimilable and muci- 

13 



194 CANINE DISTEMPER 

laginous character, and consist of wheat flour gruel,' 
cornflour and milk, white of egg, boiled milk, soup 
(minus fat), and perhaps meat extract, such as Brand's 
essence. Egg albumin is particularly good in such cases, 
being demulcent and soothing, as well as nourishing. 
Gum, starch, and white of egg are all useful mucilaginous 
vehicles in which to administer the various astringent or 
sedative drugs prescribed for diarrhoea and dysentery. 
As a rule the dog's water supply should be restricted. 



Fid. 25.— Aspirator with Escape Tube in Receiver for Use 
IN Paracentesis Abdominis. 

' Peritonitis.— This complication is frequently fatal, but 
nevertheless, we must adopt some remedial measures, 
and the first one is the vigorous application of counter- 
irritants to the abdomen, such as camphorated oil or 
mustard oil. If costiveness is present, give warm soapy 
enemas ; then an explorative puncture of the abdomen 
may be made to definitely ascertain the nature of the 
exudate. If serous, a certain quantity should be drawn 
off" to relieve the pressure on other organs, but if found 
purulent, laparotomy and thorough cleansing of the 
abdominal cavity must be performed, though such an 
operation under these circumstances will rarely prove 
successful. 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 195 

Constipation. — Occasionally we have to contend with 
costiveness in cases of distemper, especially at the 
beginning, and such a condition frequently demands 
•medicinal or mechanical interference before it can be 
relieved. It is often accompanied by some amount of 
pyrexia, and when neglected, not uncommonly leads to 
troublesome diarrhoea and enteritis. 

Laxatives such as ol. ricini (§ss. to gi.ss.) — made less 
nauseous by the addition of lo to 20 drops of aether — 
hydrarg. c. creta (grs. iii. to x.), or cascara sagrada (iriv. 
to TTilx.), will usually have the desired effect, but where 
they fail, it is unwise to administer further purgatives 
without allowing two or three days to elapse. Better 
resort to the use of mechanical lubricants, such as liquid 
paraffin and glycerine, or glycyrrhiza, the former being 
especially favoured in some quarters. It has no action 
whatever on the bowel other than that of mechanical 
lubrication and protection, for it undergoes no alteration 
during its passage through the alimentary canal. 

In cases of distemper it is best prescribed in the form 
of either petroleum emulsion (containing liquid paraffin 
and the hypophosphites of calcium and sodium), dose 
I to 4 fluid drachms, or as the proprietary " Virolax " (60 
per cent, paraffin and 40 per cent. Virol), which is not 
only a laxative and intestinal lubricant, but also a valu- 
able food of pleasant flavour. 

Many veterinarians prefer the employment of enemas 
of warm water in which a little soap has been dissolved, 
or rectal injections of liquid paraffin, plain olive oil, or a 
solution of glycerine and water (i to to). Suppositories 
of glycerine are very convenient in cases of obstinate 
constipation, and since a good many instances of this 
condition arise from the torpidity or dry condition of the 
terminal bowel, the medicant reaches the seat of the 
trouble with good results. 



196 CANINE DISTEMPER 

Much may be done, however, for the relief of costive- 
ness by the judicious selection of foods, and frequently 
no resort need be had to drugs or other agents whatever.. 
The continued use of moist foods, such as biscuits soaked 
in warm water or soup, will often prove all that is 
necessary ; or the principal meal may consist of biscuit 
moistened with soup, and a proportion of green vegetable 
and meat added. Meat and liver are laxative, and if 
mixed with brown bread, greens, and broth, they usually 
form an efficient aperient of themselves, especially if any 
exercise can simultaneously be taken, which is not, how- 
ever, the case in distemper. 

A teaspoonful to a tablespoonful of salad oil given 
alone or added to the food once daily for several days is 
harmless and often quite useful. 

Many dog owners labour under the mistaken impres- 
sion that a lump of sulphur placed in the animal's drink- 
ing water regulates its bowels and " purifies its blood." 
Sulphur is insoluble in cold water, thus to exert any 
laxative effect it must be taken internally either in pill or 
powder form. 

Jaundice. — If jaundice appears during the course of the 
malady we must aim at eliminating its cause — viz., duo-, 
denal catarrh — and the relief of any accompanying consti- 
pation by the administration of saline laxatives and warm 
enemas. Calomel in small but frequent doses (| to 
I grain) has been well recommended on account of its 
emetic property and of its intestinal disinfectant action. 
Miiller and Glass advocate the mechanical emptying of 
the gall-bladder by pressure of the abdomen between the 
fingers, or by faradisation — i.e., the therapeutic use of 
induced currents applied in the region of the liver on 
both sides of the abdomen for ten minutes at a time 
twice daily. Other helpful remedies are massage or the 
application of counter-irritants, such as linseed poultices 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 197 

or mustard, to the abdomen. If the patient is weak 
give nitrd-hydrochloric acid (niiii. to nix.) with quinine 
(grs. i. to grs. v.), which is soluble in acid, or a combina- 
tion of camphor, ether, and caffeine. 

The use of a bacterin prepared from the cultures of 
B. coli communis has been reported of considerable value 
in the treatment of catarrhal jaundice, but I have not 
personally exploited it, nor have I any detailed or con- 
firmatory information before me. It appears quite 
feasible, however, that such a bacterin might have a 
marked beneficial effect. 

Nervous Disopders. — In probably the majority of cases 
in which these grave complications make their appear- 
ance, complete recovery is not effected. Much depends 
upon the type of disorder, the stage at which its onset is 
first noticed, and its severity. 

Convulsions. — Convulsions, when they appear at the 
commencement of the disease, are doubtless not so serious 
and may usually be checked by the use of narcotics, and 
I know of no better agent for the purpose than chlore- 
tone, which may be given in large doses at first, then 
gradually reducing the amount as the symptoms are 
allayed. A light, easily digestible diet, perfect quiet 
and semi-darkness, and free action to the bowels, are 
auxiliaries in the treatment of fits. Chloroform inhala- 
tions, the bromides of potassium, sodium, and strontium, 
sulphonal (grs. x. to grs. 1.), chloral hydrate, phenazone 
(grs. X. to grs. xx.), morphine subcutaneously (gr. ^ to 
gr. i^), ice to the head or spine, are remedies which have 
been variously recommended for convulsions ; all these, 
with the exception of chloroform, are, in my experience, 
inferior to chloretone. Sodium bromide (grs. vii. to 
grs. XX.) certainly appears to lessen the severity and 
frequency of each convulsion, atid can be given in full 
doses over a long period of time. 



198 CANINE DISTEMPER 

If the fits follow one another very rapidly, thereby 
becoming very exhausting, chloroform may be ad- 
ministered to obtain an immediate effect. Provision 
must be made to prevent the dog from injuring itself 
A convenient and ready-made nerve sedative is the 
Bromide Compound EHxir (Parke, Davis), conraining 
pot. brom., chloral, ext. cannabis indica, and ext. 
. hyoscyamus, the Indian hemp of which is standardised 
by physiological test. If chloral hydrate is given alone, 
it must be either very well diluted or suspended in 
mucilage, owing to its excoriating effect on mucous 
membranes. 

When the convulsive fits appear for the first time very 
late in the disease, the matter is much more ominous, 
and we usually see chorea or paralysis as a sequel. 

Chorea. — Subjects of severe chorea seldom regain their 
normal health, but in moderate cases I have known 
quite a number to absolutely recover, even though the 
process may have extended over quite a considerable 
time, from one or two months to as many years. 

Whether the results can have been ascribed to the 
treatment applied or to Mother Nature, is difficult to tell, 
but my remedies have been restricted to the administra- 
tion of nerve and dther tonics — such as Easton's Syrup, 
triple syrup, glycerophosphates with iron, arsenic, 
quinine, and phosphorus, etc.— combined with fresh air, 
hygienic surroundings, liberal and nutritious meat diet, 
with a fair proportion of milk or other fatty matter. 
These nerve stimulants, however, must not be employed 
until the animal has thoroughly lost all other traces of 
distemper and regained its former strength to a large 
extent. Then a course of Easton's Syrup may be tried 
starting with small doses and slowly increasing them to 
the maximum permitted for the particular breed of dog. 
For instance, a King Charles spaniel would take as a 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 199 

commencing dose about 6 minims tiirice daily ; a Pekinese, 
would take 9 minims; a fox terrier, 12 ; an Airedale, is ; 
a collie, i8 ; and a St. Bernard, 20. 

After the first week the dose in each case may be 
slightly increased, and the medicine should be continued 
for at least a month. Since Easton's Syrup contains 
strychnine (gr. ^V to each fluid drachm), which is a 
stimulant to the motor centres of the spinal cord, it 
will be readily appreciated how carefully the dose must 
be regulated, for full doses will produce tetanic con- 
vulsions, whilst small or medicinal doses are nerve tonics 
and antiparalysants, and their use is not indicated until 
the severe choreic spasms have abated somewhat. 

Arsenic has proved of considerable value in the treat- 
ment of chorea and epilepsy, for which in human beings 
it has been regarded as especially serviceable. Accord- 
ing to Finlay Dunn, its action in these cases appears to 
depend partly on its alterative properties and partly on 
its diminishing irritability of motor nerves. It should 
be given in full doses, well diluted, three times a day after 
meals, but the dose should be graduated from a small 
dose at the beginning to a full medicinal dose at a later 
period, for it is only in this way that an animal will be 
enabled to develop a tolerance of doses which, if ad- 
ministered at first, might prove fatal. 

Dogs will take gr. ^ to gr. xir, according to their size, 
or Fowler's Solution (which contains i grain in no 
minims) may be given in doses of niiii. to Titxii. 

Sometimes it is desirable to cease its administration 
after about a fortnight, especially when, indigestion or 
diarrhoea becomes manifest, owing to its cumulative 
tendency; it may then be recommenced after seven or 
eight days, and during the interval some preparation of 
iron should be prescribed, particularly ferri redac, 
which is less liable to cause digestive derangements than 



200 CAMNE DISTEMPER 

are the other iron salts. Fowler's Solution may be 
conveniently added to the dog's saucer of milk, being 
practically tasteless ; the reduced iron can be similarly 
mixed with food, as it is quite tasteless and non- 
astringent. 

Quinine is a most useful tonic in debility or nervous 
weakness, though it does not affect motor, nerves unless 
actually brought in contact with them. It is especially 
indicated for weakly, ill-nourished dogs, when given in 
conjunction with iron salts and cod-liver oil. Doses of 
quinine (grs. v. to grs. xx.) may be given two or three 
times a day for several days, or smaller doses may be 
continued over a more prolonged period. Small doses 
have usually a more potent tonicity than large ones. 

Some writers have recommended counter-irritation 
over the affected muscles, but since the spasms of these 
muscles are not of local origin, little benefit can be expected 
of such a procedure; better far to stimulate the seat of 
the trouble by the application of irritants to the spine, if 
the principle of counter-irritation is to be employed at 
all. This can be accomplished by clipping the hair from 
over the entire length of the spinal column, and vigor- 
ously rubbing in cantharides ointment, biniodide of 
mercury ointment, or strong ammonia and turpentine 
liniment. 

I do not approve nor practise the insertion of setons in 
such cases, as I consider they are far too drastic and of 
very doubtful value. 

Electricity has frequently proved its efficacy when 
regularly applied along the vertebral column, and is a 
therapeutic measure which should be resorted to in all 
cases where the patient is of great pecuniary or senti- 
mental value. 

As regards the treatment of chorea in its acute or early 
stage, we must aim at the speedy reduction of nervous 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 201 

irritability, in default of which the patient may succumb 
from sheer exhaustion. Potassium bromide, chloral 
hydrate, and morphine have little effect on the spasms, 
but cannabis indica or chloretone internally, and chloro- 
form or ether by inhalation, have a decidedly greater 
influence, and may be usefully employed in urgent 
cases. 

" French veterinary surgeons have prescribed antipyrin 
(or phenazone) as a carminative in irritable conditions of 
the central nervous system, and as a general analgesic as 
well as a local anaesthetic in neuralgic cases" (Finlay 
Dunn). It has been extensively used against chorea in 
man with much benefit, but, unfortunately, seems to be 
attended with less favourable results when applied in 
canine practice. 

Other well-tried, though probably less efficacious, 
remedies are : aspirin, pot. iodide, ammonium and sodium 
bromide, sodae. salicylate, argentum nitrate, belladonna, 
hyoscyamus, antifebrin, camphor, and codeine. If the 
animal is of little value, and severe choreic spasms 
develop, it would doubtless be kinder and more 
economical to advise destruction than to administer a 
very prolonged treatment in the hope of ultimate re- 
covery. 

On the other hand, such recoveries do occur, even 
after bad attacks, and if the owner expresses anxiety that 
every endeavour be made to save the dog, the practitioner 
cannot do better than follow the course of treatment 
herein described. 

Paresis. — In paresis, however, whether it be hemiplegia, 
paraplegia, or general paralysis, the employment of nerve 
sedatives is contra-indicated, and we rely instead upon 
stimulants and tonics, usually administered patiently 
over a long period. 

Dogs frequently wholly recover the use of their muscles 



202 CANINE DISTEMPER 

or limbs when accorded adequate and painstaking treat- 
ment. Easily digested nourishing food must be given, 
and the bowels kept well open, whilst once at least every 
day the dog should be assisted to stand or walk for a 
short time in order to bring the affected muscles into 
play, and help to restore their normal functions. Mild 
stimulation of the spinal column by counter-irritants may 
be occasionally tried, and once daily electricity should be 
applied to the affected parts after having first damped 
them with salt solution. For instance, if a limb is 
paralysed, one pole of the battery should be placed on 
the middle of the back and the other on the foot, allowing 
a current of gradually increasing strength to pass through 
for about ten minutes. Massage is useful, as also are 
warm baths, and where there is a tendency to retention 
of faeces and urine we must evacuate same by means of 
enemas and the passage of the catheter respectively. If 
there is paralysis of the sphincter muscles, urine and 
faeces will be involuntarily voided ; but as the body 
recovers its nervous tone under the influence of time and 
suitable drugs, etc., this incontinence will, as a rule, 
disappear. 

Since large amounts of fluid exudate have from time to 
time been found on the cord at autopsy, it is recom- 
mended that pot. iodide should be internally administered, 
in doses of grs. ii. to grs. x. twice daily, as a means of 
promoting reabsorption. The same effect results from 
the subcutaneous injection of eserine combined with 
pilocarpine. 

As a tonic, strychnine should be prescribed with arsenic 
or quinine, or either used alone. Strychnine may be 
given in the form ofEaston's Syrup or as tincture of nux 
vomica (niv. to luxii.), or one daily hypodermic injection 
of liquor strychninae (i to no) in doses of nti. to ntv. 
This alkaloid is very cumulative and toxic ; thus it is 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT a03 

essential to omit the injections for a couple of days after 
they have continued for five or six days. 

It is conceivable, though doubtful, that the loss of 
hearing, scent, and voice, sometimes accompanying 
general paralysis, would be regained upon recovery from 
the primary paralytic condition. The amaurosis so arising 
at least appears to be always permanent and progressive, 
no treatment having any very decided effect. Eserine 
drops, however, may be tried, but with doubtful benefit. 

Cutaneous Lesions. — As a rule no treatment is required 
for the skin lesions of distemper, since they are mostly 
quite benign and transient. Nevertheless, as in rare in- 
stances we find the vesicles extending and coalescing, 
resulting in the formation of comparatively large moist 
sore areas, we may either bathe the places with a warm 
solution of Sanitas or Condy's Fluid, or may resort to 
antiseptic dusting powders such as mixtures of zinc 
oleate 2, kaolin 3, and boracic acid 5 ; or Fuller's Earth 5 
and boracic acid 5 ; or zinc oxide i with talc powder 10; 
dusted on twice daily with cotton-wool. 

Defective Heart. — The deficient valvular action occa- 
sionally observed as a result of distemper or other in- 
fectious diseases, and particularly of chronic nephritis, 
must be considered as incurable, although we may 
endeavour to aid the organ by restriction of exertion and 
excitement, and, where the heart is greatly weakened and 
respiration more difficult, by administration of heart 
tonics such as tincture of digitalis (vtiv. to luxx.), tinct. 
strophanthus (luii. to inx.), caffeine citras (grs. ii. to 
grs. viii.), three times daily. The resulting dropsy 
must be relieved by giving diuretics such as liq. 
ammon. acet., spts. seth. nit., pot. nit., or pilocarpine 
hypodermically. 

A useful mixture for this complaint would thus con- 
sist of: 



204 CANINE DISTEMPER 

PRESCRIPTION No. 14. 

R Tinct. digitalis ... ni^xx. 

Spt. aeth. nit. ... •■■ ••• Si"- 

Caffeine cit grs. xxiv. 

Aquze ad 51. 

M. ft. mist. 
Sig. : One teaspoonful three times daily; 

or — 

PRESCRIPTION No. 15. 

R Tinct. digitalis ... ... ... mlxx. 

Tr. strophanthi ... ... — mxxxii. 

Tr. nuc. vom. ... ... ... "ixl. 

P. pot. nit. ... ... ... ... 3i. 

Aquae ... ... •-. ••• ad gi. 

M. ft. mist. 
Sig. : One teaspoonful three times daily. 

A liberal diet must be allowed and constipation always 
guarded against. 

Nephritis. — Nephritis as occurring in dogs is not so 
significant as in man, and frequently it exists without 
ever being diagnosed. The little one can do for it is con- 
fined mostly to ridding the body of its moisture through 
other channels, so as to rest the kidneys as much as 
possible. 

To accomplish this, cascara or calomel may be given as 
purgatives, or excretion by the skin stimulated by the 
application of warm moist clothing, Priessnitz bandage, 
or by hot baths, etc. Spices, salt, and diuretics must be 
avoided, and if there is great pain and arching of the 
back, hot linseed poultices may be applied in the region 
of the kidneys. Barley-water should be substituted for 
the ordinary drinking water, and urotropine given three 
times a day as a urinary antiseptic, in doses ranging 
between grs. v. and grs. xv. 

Cystitis. — Inflammation of the bladder may be treated 
locally as well as medicinally; in fact, if the urine con- 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 205 

tains many pus cells or bacteria, the local treatment 
becomes essential. It consists in irrigating the bladder 
with weak antiseptic solutions such as potass. ■ per- 
manganate I per cent., boric acid 2 per cent, or zinc 
sulphate i per cent., by passing a sterile catheter into 
that organ, attached to which is a small rubber pipe and 




Fig. 26.— Irrigating the Bladder. 
The procedure is the same as for rectal lavage. 

funnel (see Fig. 26), the latter being filled with the warm 
solution, which then gravitates slowly into the bladder; 
by lowering and inverting the funnel the liquid runs 
out again exactly in the same way as it does in the per- 
formance of rectal lavage. 

If preferred a syringe may be attached to the catheter, 



206 CANINE DISTEMPER 

and the liquids forced in and drawn out by its aid. 
{N.B.—Of course, the bladder is emptied before any 
solution is introduced into it.) 

If there is much haematuria a 2 per cent, solution of 
tannic acid may be injected. Internally one should 
administer salol (grs. ii. to grs. x.), salicylic acid (grs. iii. 
to grs. X.), urotropine (grs. v. to grs. xv.), pot. nitrate 
(grs. vi. to grs. xx.), benzoic acid (grs. iii. to grs. x.), 
copaiba (ttix. to 3i.), or infusion of buchu (gss. to Sii.) with 
oleaginous laxatives. 

Salol and urotropine are particularly useful, and I pre- 
scribe them four or five times daily in every case of 
bladder implication, especially when accompanied by 
pain. It may be mentioned in passing that urotropine is 
the proprietary name for hexamethylene, and if pur- 
chased under the latter name is considerably cheaper. 

Glass recommends morphine or bromide of soda in 
cases where there is involuntary or constant urination. 
If the condition is acute, hot poultices or Priessnitz 
compresses may be applied over the region of the 
bladder. 

Urino-Genital Org-ans.— The catarrhal or purulent 
discharges emanating in rare instances from the vagina 
of bitches and penis of dogs, are usually soon checked 
by injections of antiseptic solutions, the best of which 
are corrosive sublimate (i to 4,000), zinc sulphate i per 
cent., and permanganate of potash i per cent. 

Otitis. — Before any therapeutic agent can be used, the 
ear must be thoroughly cleaned out, for it will be found 
to contain brownish crusts and an offensive waxy or 
purulent discharge, which must all be removed by means 
of cotton-wool attached to the end of a pair of fine 
spring forceps. Dipping the wool in spirit, such as 
aether, methylated spirit, or chloroform, aids greatly in 
dissolving the ear discharges, and after their complete 



MEDICINAL TREATMENT 



207 



removal a warm lotion composed of liq. plumbi subacet. 
(I to 40) ma> be dropped into the ear twice or thrice 
daily, the base of which is then worked about in a 
circular manner in order to bring the medicant in 
contact with every part. 

A very good and soothing application consists of 
Goulard's Extract, i part; olive oil, 12 parts. Where 




Fig. 27.— Cleaning the Interior of the Ear. 

the ear is particularly sensitive, we may apply a few 
drops of a 4 per cent, solution of cocaine before com- 
mencing to manipulate the organ, or this may be added 
to the prescribed lotion. A useful astringent and anti- 
septic ear-dressing for cases accompanied by much 
ulceration and inflamrnation is made with i part of 
tannin, in 10 of glycerine, which must be applied several 
times before any benefit is noticed to accrue. 
If the ulceration is deep-seated and difficult to see or 



208 CANINE DISTEMPER 

reach, liquids will probably prove the best treatment, 
otherwise I prefer to employ dry applications, such as 
various powders or soluble " conoids." Some very 
efficacious powders for dusting into the ear are those 
consisting of— (a) Zinc oleate, i; boracic acid, S- 
{b) Ground starch, kaohn, and boracic acid in equal 
parts, (c) Salicylic acid, i ; talc powder, 20— and these 
should only be introduced after the meatus has been 
first cleaned with one of the recommended liquids, and 
thoroughly dried with soft cotton-wool. 

For some years I have had a special preparation made 
for ear cases, which has proved very valuable and «asy 
of administration. The formula is — 

R Sal. antisepticus 
Ac. salicylic ... 
Ac, tannic ... 
01. theobrom. ... 

and it is put up in conical form. A cone is placed as 
far as possible into the ear, followed by a plug of dry 
cotton-wool to keep it in position. The heat of the ear 
rapidly dissolves the base, and the medicants are set 
free to exert their soothing and very beneficial effect 
upon the tender ulcerated surfaces. 

It is inadvisable to probe about in the depths of the 
meatus except where it is absolutely essential, as in the 
preliminary cleansing process, and then it may only be 
attempted with the utmost care and consideration for the 
feelings of the dog. 

Strong or irritant dressings are to be condemned for 
use in the auditory meatus, as granulations seem par- 
ticularly hable to occur. This has been observed to 
follow the too frequent use of hydrogen peroxide as an 
ear lotion. If the irritation is intense, and the dog is 
seriously damaging its ear through violent shaking or 




MEDICINAL TREATMENT 209 

otherwise, it may become advisable to apply a special 
leather cap to prevent such injury (see Fig. 28). 

Suppurations. — The suppurations which may on rare 
occasions appear during the course of an attack of dis- 
temper are conditions which must be treated surgically, 
and unless they assume alarming proportions, they are 
usually readily amenable to treatment. 

In the latter event, however, we may confer great 
benefit by the subcutaneous injection of nuclein daily 




Fig. 28. — Leather Cap for Protecting the Ears. 
The cap may also be made of calico. 

for several days, or may resort to bacterin treatment. 
For this a bacterin made from cultures of Staphylococcus 
albus and aureus and streptococcus (all of canine origin) 
is used. Five or six doses of increasing strength 
are inoculated subcutaneously in the hairless region of 
the abdomen or inside the thigh, at intervals of three 
or four days. 

SERO-THERAPY 

The possibilities of active immunisation have already 
been discussed under " Prophylaxis," and mention of 
passive immunisation or antitoxic treatment has been 

14 



210 CANINE DISTEMPER 

reserved for the chapter on " Therapeutics " ; for no 
work would be complete without reference to this most 
important method of treating disease. Antitoxic treatment 
is that which neutralises the toxin already circulating in 
the blood before it has entered into combination with 
the tissues. Most sera are anti-microbic, and bring 
about destruction of the microbes, thereby preventing 
them from forming toxin. 

It has been claimed that considerable benefit may 
result in the treatment of distemper by the inoculation 
of immune serum, though it is recommended that this 
should be accompanied by inoculations of anti-distemper 
vaccine. It may sometimes be a matter of uncertainty 
as to whether a bacterial vaccine or a serum should be 
used in a given case, and the former may occasionally be 
administered when the latter would be more suitable. 
Sera give the best results in acute general infections, 
when the condition of the patient is such that it cannot 
produce its own antibodies, and it is necessary to supply 
them by the injection of antitoxin or anti-bacterial 
serum. 

At the onset of an infectious process, however, the 
disturbance is generally local, and at such a time the 
prompt use of a suitable bacterial vaccine is indicated. 

Thus the nature of an infection is the guide as to 
whether a serum or bacterin should be employed, the 
former being indicated in general infections, and the 
latter in localised or semi-localised infections. Too often 
the case is not seen until the dog is so ill that its system 
can scarcely respond to a vaccine and produce sufficient 
antibodies to combat the toxins produced by the infecting 
microbes. In such a case the supply of antibodies ready 
formed— as provided in anti-distemper serum — will be of 
great value. 

Many sera, notably those of Piorkowski and Ligniferes, 



SERO-THERAPY 211 

have from time to time been produced, tested, and pro- 
claimed infallible by their promoters, yet many users have 
pronounced against their efficacy. In any case they can 
do little harm, but may on the other hand do considerable 
good, and I unhesitatingly recommend a trial, having 
first obtained what is considered the best available pro- 
duct. 

The latest, and therefore probably least known, serum 
is that of Ferry, which is obtained from the blood of 
animals that have been immunised against several strains 
of B. bronchisepticus. This serum may be given at any 
stage of the disease in doses of 5 c.c. daily, or, if the case 
is severe, twice daily. Ferry states that in the early 
stages doses of serum may be alternated with doses of 
vaccine with very good effect. 

Polyvalent antistreptococcic and antistaphylococcic 
sera are now obtainable, of canine origin, which should 
have a marked salutary effect when employed against 
secondary infections, for we know that in nearly every 
fatal case it is the complication and not the primary 
infection which directly brings about death, and that the 
causal organisms of these complications are frequently 
cocci. 

However, since Ferry's mixed bacterin contains B. 
bronchisepticus, staphylococci, and streptococci, it follows 
th^it if an animal is immunised with this bacterin, the 
immune serum obtained from that animal's blood should 
possess antibodies which would not only neutralise the 
toxins of B. bronchisepticus, but also those of the cocci 
named ; and this property is a distinct advance on all 
previous sera, which have never exerted any influence 
whatever on secondary infections. 



212 CANINE DISTEMPER 

CONVALESCENCE 

This matter, though last, is not least important, for it 
very often depends upon the care with which an animal is 
nursed through convalescence whether it will thoroughly 
regain its normal health and become robust and hardy, 
or whether it will succumb to a relapse, or linger on 
from, month to month as a weakly, emaciated wreck. 

As a dog shows increasing appetite and desire for solid 
foods, it is inadvisable to yield to its cravings too readily; 
but any increase in quantity, or change from liquid to 
solid, should be effected with the tardiest graduation, 
remembering always that the animal has survived a most 
trying ordeal and emerged with every organ in a much 
reduced and delicate state, I'he jacket should not be 
removed until the last symptom has disappeared, and 
then only for short periods at first, which may be 
lengthened by degrees until it is discarded altogether. 
Exercise too should be only grudgingly allowed in the 
beginning, until it eventually becomes apparent that 
strength has returned to the limbs, and that the dog is 
not exhausted after activity. 

In all these matters one should be guided entirely by 
what one would consider advisable or good for a human 
being who has been long confined to bed, the subject of 
a very debilitating and exhausting disease. 

The food should continue to be nourishing and easily 
digestible, and should be administered little and often 
for a week or two, then gradually increased to normal in 
quality and frequency. 

No bathing should be undertaken until the dbg. is 
thoroughly strong and well. If the coat is much soiled, 
this had better be remedied by the use of dry shampoos 
applied with caution. 

Permit no draughts, walks in the rain, or any other 



CONVALESCENCE 213 

condition or exposure which might be Hkely to lead- to a 
chill or a relapse ; and allow no other distempered dog to 
come in contact with it, for immunity may not yet have 
become firmly established. Also exercise consideration 
for the health of other, unaffected, dogs, since the con- 
valescent one will be infective or a " carrier," probably 
for some weeks, or at any rate until the last visible 
symptom has departed at least a week, and the cured dog 
has been thoroughly immersed in a disinfectant bath. 
All its old fugs, coats, bedding, and other articles per- 
taining- to the sick-room, must be burnt, baked, or other- 
wise disinfected. 

Tonics, particularly quinine, may now be administered 
as recommended on p. 200, and attention should be paid 
to the action of the bowels. 

Nothing can be hurried in the therapeutics or after- 
treatment of dogs suffering with distemper — all must 
take its course. 



APPENDIX I 
EXTERMINATION OF RATS 

The safest way to exterminate rats and mice is with 
Liverpool Virus, though I cannot pretend it is the most 
efficacious. Experience has taught me that rats will not 
readily eat this paste^ but show a marked preference for 
phosphorus pastes spread on bread, and with the latter 
method I have been very successful. However, phos- 
phorus, being very poisonous, is a dangerous agent to 
spread in the vicinity of dogs, and should only be used 
after first making sure that every dog is secure in its 
kennel, counting the pieces of bait laid down at night, 
and collecting in the morning what the rats have not 
touched. Water should be placed near the phosphorus, 
as this aids the quick action of the latter. Liverpool 
Virus can be safely scattered among dogs, as it has no 
pathogenicity for any but rodents. Another efficient 
method of killing rats is to mix dry oatmeal in equal 
proportion with plaster of Paris, and leave it on the floor 
with a basin of water beside it. The rats greedily eat 
the powder, become thirsty, drink, and then die. Need- 
less to add, all access to dog biscuits should be curtailed, 
these being stored preferably in covered zinc bins, for so 
long as rats can feed on good wholesome biscuits, they 
will not choose phosphorus or any other bait. 



214 



APPENDIX II 

DISINFECTION 

A disinfectant is an agent which destroys pathogenic 
germs, or renders ferments inactive ; it is distinguished 
from antiseptics in that the latter do not necessarily 
destroy but inhibit the growth and multiplication of 
putrefactive organisms, and from deodorants by the fact 
that these remove undesirable or offensive odours, without 
the surety of killing the microbes, or hindering their 
growth. Deodorising is not accomplished by merely 
substituting one smell for another in a room where 
putrefactive processes are generating a totally different 
odour. True deodorants attack the cause of the evil smell, 
although they themselves may be odourless ; examples 
are charcoal, Condy's fluid, hydrochloric or nitric acids, 
chlorine, etc. Many disinfectants are also deodorants, 
though few deodorants could be termed disinfectants. 

Disinfectants exert their bactericidal effects in various 
ways, viz. : By oxidation, e.g. potassium permanganate, 
ozone, chlorinated lime, hydrogen peroxide ; by coagula- 
tion and desiccation, eg. metallic salts such as silver 
nitrate, corrosive sublimate, etc. ; by protoplasmic poison- 
ing, e.g. carbolic acid and its various derivatives. 

Many disinfecting agents are very toxic, and dogs are 
peculiarly susceptible to poisoning from certain varieties 
by absorption through a wound or the skin ; hence careful 
choice must be made according to whether the disin- 
fectant is to be used for cleansing walls, floors, benches, 
and other objects, or will be employed in the dog's bath 
water, or to sterilise wounds, etc. Carbolic acid, some 
tar preparations, and the various mercuric germicides, are 
all dangerous to the dog, and should be used with, great 
caution. Disinfection may be carried out by a variety of 
means, such as fumigating, spraying, baking, boiling, , 
chemical solutions, sunlight. 

215 



216 CANINE DISTEMPER 

Fumigration. — Buildings or rooms may be disinfected 
throughout by means of fumigation with poisonous 
gases, and to be effective the rooms must be entirely 
closed, so that no outlet remains for the premature escape 
of the fumes generated. All windows, fireplaces, venti- 
lators, and doors must be sealed by stuffing paper in 
their cracks and crevices, after which the gases are 
liberated and allowed to pervade the air for about twenty- 
four hours. Sulphurous acid gas can be produced by 
burning sulphur on a red-hot iron plate ; or the sulphur 
may be placed in an old iron saucepan, moistened with 
a little rnethylated spirit, and ignited; or sulphur candles 
manufactured for the purpose may bie burnt. The fumes 
of sulphur, however, are not really very efficacious, as I 
have known flies and spiders on two or three occasions 
to recover, even after several hours' exposure. Furthef, 
the fumes have a decidedly deleterious effect on metals, 
and for this reason are frequently impracticable. For a 
small room, the burning of about i| lbs. is usually con- 
sidered sufficient, but it has been found that if bacteria 
are protected — i.e., when they are in the middle of small 
bundles of clothes, rugs, etc. — no effect is produced on 
them, even by an atmosphere containing a large propor- 
tion of the sulphurous acid gas. To fumigate i,ooo cubic 
feet, 5 lbs. of sulphur are required. 

Formalin. — Probably the best fumigator is formalin, 
which can be obtained in tablet form, the tablets being 
placed in a receptacle beneath which is a methylated 
spirit stove. The amount of formalin required is 
governed by the cubic space of the room, and it is advis- 
able to allow twelve hours to elapse before throwing 
open the windows and doors. Its fumes are colourless 
and odourless, and cause no damage to metals, furniture, 
or hangings. Its effect oil dry organisms is very much 
less than oh wet ones, so that a moist atmosphere 
would appear to be helpful. Another method of pro- 
ducing formalin gas is by mixing together 20 ozs. of 
formalin and 16 ozs. of permanganate of ptttash crystals. . 



DISINFECTION 217 

This amount is sufficient for the disinfection of 1,000 
cubic feet of space. 

Care should be exercised in its use, as the gas evolved 
is slightly inflammable. After the operation, the pei"soh 
entering to open sealed windows and doors should wear 
a wet towel over the head, as the fumes are very deadly. 
Chlorine gas is a fairly effectual disinfectant, and sufficient 
for 1, 000 cubic feet of space would be liberated by care- 
fully adding 6 ozs. of strong sulphuric acid to about 
2 lbs. of chlorinated lime. 

Spraying. — The dissemination into the air of a sick-' 
room of antiseptics in a fine state of division cannot but 
have marked beneficial results, especially to patients 
suffering from respiratory complaints, and as applied to 
canine distemper wards it might very usefully be resorted 
to much more than it is. Special spraying machines 
may be purchased for the purpose, and some of the 
substances used with them are formalin, eucalyptus, 
Sanitas, euthymol, or almost any of the volatile oils. 
They not only deodorise and refresh, but largely sterilise 
the atmosphere of a sick-room. It is stated that i part 
of formalin in 10,000 of air will kill the cholera vibrio in 
one hour, the diphtheria bacillus in three hours, and the 
Staphylococcus pyogenes in six hours. Formalin being an 
irritant, the sprayer should wear gloves and gogglefe. 
A solution of i per cent, to i per cent, is used. Per- 
chloride of mercury is one of the substances which have 
been used for disinfecting rooms by distribution from a 
spray-producer, of which the " Equifex " may be taken as 
a type. With such a machine it is calculated that 
I ounce of hydrarg. perchlor. used in solution of i in 
1,000 will disinfect 3,000 square feet of surface. 

Baking and Boiling. — Sterilisation by heat is a process 
seldom resorted to by those who devote their time and 
energy to the care of sick dogs, as so much of the 
appafatus pertaining to dogs— such as tiollars,- le'ather 
leads and muzzles, clothing, dishes, etc.— is unsuitable 



218 CANINE DISTEMPER 

for boiling or baking, and can better be sterilised by 
washing or soaking in strong disinfecting solutions. 

Application of Chemicals.— A large number of chemical 
substances have germicidal properties, but instead of 
classifyiijtg them according to their mode of action or 
otherwise, I shall serve the purpose of this book— and 
probably of its reader — better if I indicate, under separ- 
ate sub-headings, the uses we have for these substances, 
and the chosen agents in each case. 

(a) Disinfection of Yards, Floors, Walls, Benches, 
Dishes, Leather- Ware, Drains, etc. — For these ex- 
ternal purposes we need not entertain the same scruples 
in our choice of a disinfectant as would be imperative 
did we intend it to come into direct contact with the 
living animal. Consequently the properties of the most 
toxic of germicides may be exploited, and of these doubt- 
less perchloride of mercury (corrosive sublimate) is the 
most powerful and useful. A i in loo solution will kill 
anthrax spores in twenty minutes, whilst the bacilli 
themselves in bteod will be destroyed after a few 
minutes' exposure to a i in 2,000 solution. It is generally 
used in the strength of i in 1,000, which practically in- 
stantaTreou-sly kills all vegetative organisms. The most 
popularly favoured disinfectants, however, appear to be 
the various. products of the distillation of coal, probably 
by virtue of their aromatic qualities no les_s than of their 
undoubted cheapness and efficacy as bactericides. Car- 
bolic acid (phenol) in a 3 per cent, solution with water 
will kill all ordinary bacteria in the vegetative condition 
(and of these the staphylococcus is most resistant> in 
less than five minutes ; but it is irritant and toxic, and 
in its pure state is too expensive for wholesale use, and, 
like its cheaper and crude form, is not readily miscible 
with water. The impure form, moreover, has an oily, 
character, which renders it not so convenient or pleasant 
for washing various articles- in, water, but it may be 
applied undiluted with a brush over doors, walls, or 
floor-boards. Kaufmann states that creolin (Jeyes' Fluid) 



DISINFECTION 219 

as a bactericide is ten times as powerful as carbolic acid ; 
and, unlike the latter or creosote, lo per cent, solutions 
do not irritate the skin or the mucous membranes. 
Creolin is a coal-tar product saponified with resin and 
alkalies, and mixed with forty or more parts of water 
forms an opaque or milky emulsion. Used with ordinary 
care it is not poisonous even for dogs, and, to my mind, 
besides being the cheapest is one of the most useful and 
pleasant general disinfectants that can be employed. 
Potassium permanganate is an efficient though not in- 
expensive agent for swilling yards and flushing drains, 
etc., in the strength of i to 50 or 100 of water. It 
is a good deodorant and fairly effectual in the 
destruction of bacteria, although not so potent as the 
previously mentioned agents. Sanitas Fluid has an 
agreeable aromatic odour, is soluble in water, non-toxic, 
non-corrosive, and largely used in hospitals and by 
medical ofificers of health. In commerce the activity of 
Sanitas compounds is due to the formation of ozone ; by 
the slow oxidation of the resin, camphor, and thymol 
they contain. In 5 to lo per cent, solution, Sanitas is 
recommended as a valuable disinfectant and deodorant 
for use in dog kennels, and the Sanitas powder and saw- 
dust are used with good effect, sprinkled upon the floor. 
Chlorinated lime is a most useful agent, and may be used 
either dry or in i to 5 per cent, solution. 

There are many other preparations suitable for the 
purposes indicated in this paragraph, among the best 
being Kresophen, Fecto (contains free chlorine), form- 
aldehyde solution, Izal, etc. 

How to Disinfect a Kennel Eflfeetually.— The disinfec- 
tion of a kennel must be systematically carried out as 
follows if reliable results are desired : First brush down 
any cobwebs and dried loose whitewash, then thoroughly 
sweep ^way any debris and every particle of litter and 
sawdust, which must be gathered up and burned. All 
removable parts, such as. the bench or dais, drinking 
troughs, etc., should be scraped and scrubbed with 



320 CANINE DISTEMPER 

strong disinfecting solution and soap; then, ifpossiblej 
pl^ce in the sun to dry. In the case of wood, especially 
that which has become soiled by the dog's excreta^ th8 
scraping operation is essential, and better results are 
obtained if the solution is allowed to soak well in, a.nd 
remain as long as possible, in direct contact with any 
organisms which may be present. The walls and floor 
should next receive attention, both being scraped with a 
wire brush, then scrubbed down with germicidal fluids ; 
at this stage the kennel may be fumigated, and whether 
or not this be done, finish off by freely throwing the 
disinfectant solution over every inch of surface. Finally, 
where indicated, lime-washing may be proceeded with, 
and in this connection I must lay stress on the fact that 
to lime-wash over the old dirt, without any preparation, 
is worse than useless. Yet how often it is done ! Lime- 
wash is more efficacious than ordinary whitewash, but 
both are improved by the addition of about half a pint 
of pure carbolic acid to the gallon. Unslaked lime may 
be slaked by the addition of 7 gallons of water per 
I cwt. ; to make the wash use a 20 per cent, solution. 

The blow-lamp was greatly used in the army during 
the late war, and is very effectual indeed provided that 
the offending organisms are not protected behind debris, 
etc., and that the flame is made to cover the whole of the 
suspected surface. The flame is so often used in a hap- 
hazard way that all parts do. not come under its steri- 
lising influence, in which case of course the method 
then comes into disrepute, and is wrongfully blamed. 

{b) Disinfectant Baths for Dogs.— In cases where" 
it is desired to disinfect the body or coat of a dog after 
recovery from a contagious, disease, or after suspected 
contarnination with an infected dog, one must be 
guarded in the choice of chemicals added to the bath 
water, since these small animals are v£ry\ susceptible 
to poisoning, and- even when itisufficient time isallovv^eii- 
for absorption by the skin,' dogs will frequently^" lick 
the'mselves, with occasionally xdire- results.- -Irrftants, 



DISINFECTION 221 

too, must be avoided on account of the danger to the 
eyes and to the thin-skinned, vulnerable parts, like the 
abdomen and scrotum ; thus to be on the safe side we 
must rule out corrosive sublimate, carbolic acid, and 
Lysol. The recommended medicaments are : Sanitas, 
5 per cent, solution ; Jeyes' Fluid, 5 to 10 per cent, solu- 
tion ; Wright's Coal Tar ; and potassa sulphurata, about 
I ounce to the gallon. 

(c) Irrigation of Wounds. — The wounds encountered 
in distemper are confined to the small subcutaneous 
abscesses, which only occasionally make, their appear- 
ance, and to the lesions on the abdomen and thighs, 
produced by the rare exanthematous eruption. In the 
latter case, if much pus exudes and tends, to dry into 
scabs around the pustules, an antiseptic solution will be 
requisitioned to wash the parts clean, and for this we 
may use hydrogen peroxide, 5 to 10 per cent, solution in 
cold water; permanganate of potash, i per cent, solu- 
tion; Sanitas, 5 percent, solution; or the parts maybe, 
painted with tincture of iodine. An antiseptic much 
employed during the war, both in human and animal 
practice, was Eusol, made by dissolving 12 grains each 
of good bleaching powder and boric acid in a litre of 
water, shaking frequently for two hours, and filtering. 
As a dry application, boracic acid i, Sanitas powder i, 
and Kaolin 10, is safe and effectual. For washing out 
abscess cavities, any of the liquids above mentioned 
may be tried, or preference given to Jeyes' Fluid, 5 to 
ID per cent., or Kresophen, 5 per cent. 

{d) Antiseptic Eye and Mouth Washes. — No irritant 
application can be tolerated by that very sensitive organ, 
the eye ; thus the universally adopted agent is a warm 
3 to 5 per cent, solution of boric acid, or i to i per cent, 
warm solution of potassium permanganate. As a mouth- 
wash either will serve, or perhaps more efficacious 
would be a 5 per cent, solution of peroxide of hydrogen. 
Ulcerous spots in the mouth may be dressed with 
glycerine of tannin. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

HuTYRA AND Marek : Special Pathology and Therapeutics. 

MtJLLER AND Glass : Diseases of the Dog. 

Wallis Hoare : System of Veterinary Medicine. 

Friedberger and Frohner : Veterinary Pathology. 

FiNLAY Dunn : Veterinary Medicines. 

Banham : Posological Tables. 

Woodroffe Hill: The Dog and its Management. 

Williams : Principles and Practice of Veterinary Medicine. 

Miller : Practice of Surgery. 

Blaine : Canine Pathology. 

YouATT : The Dog. 

Fleming : History of Animal Plagues. 

Veterinary Record, 

Veterinary Journal. 

Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology. 

Bulletin Soc. de Med. Vet. 

Journal of Medical Research. 

Recueil de Med. Vet. 

Proceedings of the National Veterinary Medical A ssociation. 

Proceedings of the Central Veterinary Society. 



INDEX 



Age at which dogs attacked, ii 

influence of, on susceptibility, lo 

to vaccinate, 60 
Alimentary disorders, 188 

lesions, 142 
Amaurosis, 97, 203 
Anal glands, suppurating, 126 

lesions, 143 
Analogous diseases in human beings, 5 
Analogy to swine fever, 23 
Anasarca, 129 
Animals susceptible, 9 
Antiseptic eye and mouthwashes, 221 
Arguments for and against Cope- 
man's vaccine, 63 
Ferry's organism, 21 
Atrophy of muscles, 116 

Bacillus bronchiscptutis, arguments for 
and against, 21 
description of, 34 
Bacterial theory of etiology, 15 
Bacterins, 70 
Bacteriological notes, 29 
Balanitis, 127 
Baths, disinfectant, 220 
Beef-tea, preparation of, 168 
Bibliography, 222 
Bile ducts, lesions in, 144 
Bitches' milk, infection in, 56 
Bladder, distension of, 129, 204 

inflammation of, 129, 204 
Blenorrhoea, 178 

Blood, characters post5mortem, 147 
Blow-lamp as disinfectant, 220 
Boarding homes for dogs, 53 
Body cleanliness, 162 
Brain lesions, 146 
Bronchial lesions, 142 
Bronchitis, 87, 182 
Broncho-pneumonia, 87, 140, 185 
Brood bitches, risks attending, 49 
Buccal lesions, 145 

Carbolic acid, disinfection with, 218 
Carcase, characters of, post-mortem 

148 
Cardiac lesions, 146 
Carriers, 28 
Cataract, 96, 180 

black, 97, 203 
Cats, susceptibility of, 9 
Causes, predisposing, 42 

theories of, 14 



Central nervous system, lesions in, 

146 
Cerebral meningitis and sequelae, in 
Chauveau's vaccine, 77 
Chemicals in disinfection, 218 
Chlorine gas, disinfection with, 217 
Chorea, in, 198 
Cleansing the body, 162, 220 

the mouth and teeth, 163 
Clonic spasms, 108 
Clothing, 160, 217 
Clysters, how to give, 170 
Coma, 107 

Communicability to man, 5 
Complications of distemper, 85 
Conjunctivitis, 92, 177 
Constipation, 1 01, 195 
Contagion, mediate, 47 

minimising spread of, 164 
Contaminated articles, disposal of, 46 
Convalescence, 212 
Convulsions, treatment of, 197 
Copeman's Ijacillus, Dr. Monckton, 

24.31 
vaccine, 63 
Corneal ulceration, 93, 179 
Course, 133 

Creolin, disinfection with, 219 
Croupous pneumonia, 88, 185 
Curtailing a general outbreak, 5 1 
Cutaneous lesions, 117, 120, 203 
Cystitis, 129, 204 

Defective heart, 203 

Definition, i, 7 

Descemet's membrane, hernia of, 179 

Detecting distemper, 55, 150 

Diagnostic value of exanthematous 

symptoms, 119 
Diarrhoea, 100, 190 

foods for, 168 
Diet, sick, 167 
Dietetic treatment, 165 
Differential diagnosis, 150 
Discharges, removal of, 161 
Disinfection, 56, 215 

by baking and boiling, 217 

by chemicals, 218 

by fumigation, 216 

by spraying, 217 

of a dog by bathing, 220 

of a kennel, 219 

of wounds, 221 

of yards or floors, 2i8 



223 



224 



CANINE DISTEMPER 



Disposal of contaminated articles, 46 
Distemper as an entity, 7 

classification of, 83 

diseases confounded with, 151 

history of, 2 

putrid type of, 103 

sequelas of, 85 ; 

signs of previous attack of, 113 

uncomplicated, 83, 92 
Distension of the bladder, 129 
Dog bureaux, infection in, 52 

homes, infection in, 53 

shows, spread of infection at, 47 
veterinary inspection at, 47 
Dogs on approval, risks attending, 50 
Dosage of Ferry's vaccine, 71 
Duration of infectivity after con- 
valescence, 46 
Dysentery, 193 

Early signs of distemper, 55, 150 

stages, temperature in, 85 
Emaciation, 103, 123 
Emesis, 99, 168, 188 
Enemas, nutrient, 172 
Enteritis, 190 , 
Entity, distemper as an, 7 
Epilepsy, 108, 153, 197 

versus rabies, 109 
Essentials of isolation, 51 
Etiology, bacterial theory of, 15 

exotoxin, theory of, 18 

ultra-visible virus, theory of, 14 
Examination of urine, 128 
Exanthematous symptoms, 117 

lesions, characters of, 120 
diagnostic value of, 119 
predilection, seats of, 120 
treatment of, 221 
Exercise, 163 

Exhibitors' legal liability, 48 
Exotoxin theory of etiology, 18 
Extermination of rats, 214 
Eye, excision of, 98 

lesions, 148 

symptoms, 92 

treatment of, 177 

Fasces, infective nature of, 55, 100 
Febrile symptoms, 121, 175 
Feeding per rectum, lyo 
Ferry's organism, 34 

arguments against, 21 
vaccine, 68 
dose of, 71 

efficacy of, or otherwise, 73 
Filtration experiments with B, bron- 

chisepticus, 19 
Fits, 108, 197 

warning of, no 



Fomentations, hot, 169 
Foods for constipation, 196 

for diarrhoea, 168, 193 

preparation of, 167 

retention of, 168 
Foreign nomenclature, i 
Formalin, disinfection with, 216 
Fumigation, 216 

Gangrene of the lungs, 90, 188 
Gastric lesions, 143 
Gastritis, 188 

Gastro-enteritis, 98,101, igo 
General outbreak, curtailing a, 51 
Glandular lesions, abdominal lym- 
phatic, 143 

bronchial, 142 

salivary, 146 - 
Glaucoma, 97 
Gums, lesions on, 145 

Hsematuria, 128, 206 
Haemorrhage of the bowel, 192 
Heart, defective, 203 
Hemiplegia, 116, 20 r 
Hepatic lesions, 144 

symptoms, 104 

treatment, 196 
History of distemper, 2 

sheets for infirmary use, 173 
Human beings, analogous diseases 
of, 5 
communicability to, 5 
Hydrocephalus, 132 
Hygienic treatment, 158 

Icterus, 104, 144, 196 
Immunity, 58 

Wright's theory of, 59 
Incontinence, treatment of, 202; 206 
Incubation period,- 56 
Infection, duration of, after con- 
valescence, 46 

latent, 28 

methods of, 26 

sources of, and practical avoid- 
apce, 45 
Infective matter and its source, 55 

nature of faeces, 55, 100 
Influence of age and breed on suscep- 
tibility, 10 
Inhalations, medicated, 161 
Inoculation as a preventive, 58 
Intestinal lesions, 142 

ulceration, 192 
Iritis, 95 

Irrigation of abscess cavities, 221 
Isolation, essentials of, 51 

Jaundice, 104, 144, 196 



INDEX 



225 



Kennel Club, a §uggestion^to the, 49 
Kennels, well-kept, 54 \ 

disinfection of, 219 
Keratitis, 97, 178 
Kidney lesions, 146J 

symptoms, 127 

treatment, 204 

Laryngeal lesions, 142 

Laryngitis, 86, 181 

Latent infection. 28 

Legal liability of exhibitors, 48 

Leucoma, 96, 180 

Ligniere's organism, 32 

polyvalent vaccine, 81 
Litter for sick dogs, 159 
Lobular pneumonia, 140 
Lung lesions, 140 

proportionate frequency of, 
in distemper, 91 
Lungs, gangrene of, 90, 188 

inflammation of, 87, 140, 185 

oedema of, 90, 141, 188 
Lymphatic glands, abdominal, 143 
bronchial, 142 

Mange mistaken for distemper, 154 
Measles, analogy of distemper to, 5 
Mediate contagion, 47 
Medicinal treatment, 173 
Meningitis, cerebral, in 

spinal, 117 
Methods of infection, 26 
Milk of bitches, infectivity of, 56 
Miscellaneous symptoms, 123, 203 
Mistaken diagnosis, dangers of, 157 
Morbid anatomy, 140 
Mortahty, 138 
Muscular atrophy, 116 

lesions, 146 

symptoms, 123 

Nasal catarrh, 86, 180 

lesions, 142 
Nephritis, symptoms of, 127 

treatment of, 204 
Nervous symptoms, 106 

treatment of, 197 
Nuclein, 187 

Nursing, importance of, 158 
Nutrient enemas, composition of, 172 

suppositories, 173 
Nystagmus, 98 

Ocular lesions, 148, 177 

CEdema of the lungs, 90, 141, 188 

Opacities of the cornea, 95, 180 

Opisthotonos, 116 

Oral lesions, 99, 145, 188 

Otitis, 126, 206 

Otorrhoea, 126, 206 



Panophthalmitis, 94 
Paralyses, 114, 201 
sequelae of, 116 
Paraplegia, 116, 201 
Parenchymatous keratitis, 95, 178 
Paresis, 114, 201 
Pasteurclla canis, 32 
Perchloride of mercury, disinfection 

with, 218 
Period of incubation, 56 
Peritoneal lesions, 144 
Peritonitis, 124, 194 
Permanganate of potash, disinfection 

with, 219 
Pharyngitis, 99, 188 
Phisalix vaccine, 78 

committee's report on, 80 
evidence for or against, 79 
o^rganism, 32 
Pleural lesions, 141 
Pleurisy, symptoms of, 90 

treatment of, 187 
Pneumonia, 87, 140, 185 
Post-mortem lesions, 140 

typical picture at, 148 
Predisposing causes, 42 
Predominance, seasonal, 8 
Premonitory symptoms of distemper 

55.84 
Prescription, No. i, 177 
No. 2, iSi 
No. 3, 181 
No. 4, 181 
No. 3, 182 
No. 6, 183 
No. 7, 184 
No. 8, 189 
No. 9, 189 
No. 10, igo 
No. II, 191 
No. 12, 191 
No. 13', 191 
No. 14, 204 
No. 15, 204 
Preventive inoculation, 58 

with attenuated living cul- 
tures, 77 
with crude riasaldischarge,62 
with dead cultures, 63 
with pure cultures of bacilli, 

62 
with vaccine lymph, 62 
Previous attack of distemper, signs 

of a, 113 
Priessnitz compress, 186 
Prognosis, 134 
Prolapse of rectum, 102, 143 
Public highways as source of infec- 
tion, 50 
Putrid type of distemper, 103 

IS 



226 



CANINE DISTEMPER 



Quack remedies, 156 

Quarantine kennels, distemper in, 54 

Rabies, 153 

versus epilepsy. log 
Raw meat juice, preparation of, 167 
Reactions during vaccination, Oi 

to Ferry's bacterin, 72 
Rectal feeding, 170 

lavage, 170 
Rectum, prolapse of, 102, 143 
Renal lesions, 146 
Report of Committee on Phisalix 

Vaccine, 80 
Resistance of contagium to cold or 

heat, 56 
Respiratory-symptoms, 86, 180 

lesions, 140 
Retention of food, aids for the, 168 

of urine, 129 
Rhinitis, 86, 180 

Risks attending brood bitches, 49 
dogs " on approval," 50 
Room temperature, 159 

Salivary glandular lesions, 146 

Seasonal predominance of distem- 
per, 8 

Secondary invading organisms, 38 

Sequelae of cerebral meningitis, in 
of distemper, 85 
of paralysis, 116 

Sero-therapy, 209 

Sick diet, 167 

Signs of a previous attack of dis- 
temper, 113 

Sources of infection and their prac- 
tical avoidance, 45 

Spinal cord, lesions of the, 147 
meningitis, 117 

Splenic lesions, 148 

Spraying disinfectants, 217 

St. Vitus' dance, iii, 198 

Staphyloma, 94, 180 

Steaming the head, 161 

Stuttgart disease, 152 

Subnormal temperatures, 123 

Sulphurous acid gas, disinfection 
with, 216 

Suggestion to the Kennel Club, 49 

Suppurations, 125, 141, 209 
of anal glands, 126 

Surgical conditions, 143 

Susceptibility, influence of age and 
breed Sa.io 



Susceptible animals, 9 

Swine fever, analogy of, to distemper, 

23 
Symptoms, 82 

complicating, 85 

exanthematous, 117 

diagnostic value of, 119 

eye, 92 

febrile, 121 

gastro-intestinal, 98 

hepatic, 104 

miscellaneous, 123 

muscular, 123 

nervous, 106 

premonitory, 55, 84 

respiratory, 86 
Synonyms, 2 

Temperature charts, 121, 122 

in the early stages, 86 

room, 159 

subnormal, 123 
Tenesmus, 102 

Thermometer, transmission of infec- 
tion by, 56 
Tonsillar lesions, 145 
Tracheal lesions, 142 
Treatment, 156 

dietetic, 165 

empirical, 156 

hygienic, 158 

medicinal, 173 
Tuberculosis, 152 

Ulcerated corrlea, 93, 179 

bowels. 192 
Ultra-visible virus theory of etiology, 

14 
Uncomplicated distemper, 85, 92 
Urine, examination of, 128 
Urino-genital organs, 206 

Vaccination, 58 

age for, 60 

reactions during, 61 
Vaccine, Chauveau's, 77 

Copeman's, 63 

Ferry's, 68 

Ligniere's, 81 

Phisalix, 78 
Veterinary inspection at dog shows, 47 
Vomiting, 99, 168, 188 

Well-managed kennels, 54 
Whey, how to prepare, 167 
Wounds, disinfection of, 221 
Wright's theory of immunity, 59 



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